Positioning myself in conversation with the still life work of photographers such as Edward Weston, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Karl Blossfeldt, OVERGROWTH is a series of digital photographs focused on fruits and vegetables that carry ties to my Asian heritage. These are the fruits and vegetables that often appeared on my plate growing up, yet were rarely found on the shelves of generic supermarkets, in the lunchboxes of my peers, or on TV and movie screens. These photos are printed on silk, a material that has its own relationships with Asian cultures as a symbolic commodity.
As such, OVERGROWTH serves as an entrypoint into thinking about Asian American representation and visibility (or lack thereof) in contemporary media. Rather than pointedly photographing Asian American faces, I advocate for more nuanced portraits of our food, materialized on a textile that is integral to our history. Food is intriguing because it is intrinsic to how we exist: we use it to survive, to show affection, and to self-identify. Food is concerned with memory and culture and has played an integral role in my life, in both the past and the present.