"If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her to be kinder and gentler to herself."

Written by:

What does it mean to you to be a part of our mission and community?

It is a great honor to be a part of Asian Archives’ mission and community, which aligns with my own values for my photographic practice. It is gratifying to be able to share space and engage with other fellow AAPI creatives and be a part of this larger collective in creating and sharing work that is personal to our shared identities.

What is your earliest memory interacting with a camera or creating a photograph?

My earliest memory interacting with a camera would be on family trips. Being very camera shy, I found comfort in being able to be behind the lens rather than being photographed or filmed. I realized the joy of photographing beautiful scenes and moments through taking control of the camera. Without realizing, I was able to partake in the creation of familial memories through this habit.

If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell them?

If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her to be kinder and gentler to herself. I would say that others’ opinions don’t matter as much as I thought it did at the time.

Tell me about yourself. What are some important things happening in your life right now?

I am currently in my final semester of college for my undergraduate degree in Photography, anticipating to graduate in just a few months. While anxious for this transition into a new phase of my life and to face a new set of challenges of adulthood, I am also excited to see what holds in store for me and how I will continue to grow as a person and an artist.

What does home mean to you?

To me, my home is my community. I have come to realize that my family, friends, and other loved ones make me feel most safe and at peace even when I am at my most vulnerable. I also consider New York City my home. As a NYC native, I believe that no other place will be able to replace the special place that NYC holds in my heart.

What’s your relationship with your culture?

My relationship with my Japanese background has been embedded in me through my upbringing by my Japanese immigrant parents. I have been raised to hold pride in my heritage and have had the privilege to be connected with my background through language, food, and traditions throughout my life. As I grow older however, I feel as though I am losing grasp of these ties to my motherland. I wish to strengthen my grasp on my mother tongue and gain a richer understanding of my culture in Japan someday to continue to maintain my relationship with my Japanese identity.

What’s your favorite thing about it?

My favorite thing about my culture is how it has shaped my values. My parents emphasized the importance of selflessness and generosity, which is reflective of Japanese culture. On the other hand, my favorite part about being Japanese American is being able to create an instant connection and bond with those who share my culture within the diaspora.

What inspires you?

As a woman photographer, I am inspired by the women in my life who have been pivotal in shaping who I am and my work as an artist. They have been my constant support and inspiration in creating work as a photographer and have continually motivated me to better myself.

What excites you about your craft?

Photography is a powerful, boundless tool for storytelling. With its accessibility, especially with our phones, it is a democratic art form that anybody can take on. It can allow anyone to visualize and construct their own narratives. As technology and the industry continues to shift everyday, I look forward to what image-making will become in the near future.


Interested in learning more about the people in this piece? Check out their member bio by clicking on their name below.

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