Hyphenated (2017 - present)
As a Korean Canadian, I spent most of my young adult life hiding features of my Korean identity from people I assumed would not understand it. I avoided bringing Korean food to eat during school lunches. I was overly generous in explaining why my family looked and behaved the way it did. I was embarrassed, and grew to see how other Koreans living in Western societies often feel the need to suppress their ‘Koreanness’ in order to be acknowledged or belong. Yet, there has always been a longing to understand this part of my identity.
In order to try and understand my own hyphenated identity, I decided to connect with other Korean diaspora people. I started with family and friends that lived in Canada and the US. I also started to meet bi-racial Koreans along with Korean adoptees who grew up as transnational adoptees.
I don’t know if there’s ever a point where I’ll fully understand what it means to have dual identity and I see this as an ongoing process. These portraits are continually being updated as I meet more people and as people share their stories with me.
Take a look at the NPR photo blog to see more