Little Road, New Jersey
As a Chinese adoptee, there are many unknowns. Piecing together intangible things such as identity and memory is difficult. Most people are able to recall stories their parents tell them that structure their understanding of personal and cultural identity. Growing up in the United States and separated from the place of my birth, my identity is shaped by the mixed families, environments, and communities I live in.
When my parents adopted me, they documented their journey through photographs that were used to create and embrace memories. Those photos anchor my efforts to piece together memories of who I am and inspired my search for personal and cultural connections.
I was fortunate enough to visit the major cities of China in the winter of 2020. Although I was not able to visit the specific orphanage that I was adopted from, my search for a sense of belonging in China revealed many mixed emotions. The broken pieces and misaligned images create a new personal history, while the scratches and light leaks are symbolic of how I process adoption. Visual harmony and connection are also found between different environments that may not relate at first glance. These images highlight the struggles I face in relating to my Chinese-American identity.