William (2018 - Present)

My cousin William is one of those people that carries a good energy with him anywhere he goes. His energy is like fire, bringing out the best in people in any space he enters. He has a great capacity to love and feel emotions. I know anyone who knows him would agree. He has played a crucial role in my life and I know so many would say that. This continuous series and archive operates as a way for me to capture William and the ways he navigates the world as a Vietnamese-American, non-verbal teenager. I have had the privilege of growing up alongside this wonderful human. He has taught me what it means to be a friend and how much capacity humans have to love.This archive has also given me the opportunity to expand on what it means to include the subject in the image making process. William helped me print most of the black and white prints in the this series and helped set up most of the portraits. 

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In life of William (Autumn 2018)
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Homecoming King
(October, 2019)
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Pandemic Graduation
(May, 2020) 
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Will and my dad (2014)

This picture has become stitched into my brain, taken at Will's 13th birthday party about 40 days before my dad passed away. These two people have played a significant role in my life. I remember when Will was about 7 or 8 years old right after my dad had a big operation. Will looked at the scars on my dad's stomach as if he had the operation himself. His 7 year old self could muster up so much empathy that he had an emotional reaction. That's William for you. Him and my dad had a special bond as I know my dad loved him too with his whole being. The two of them will always be connected and I have the gift of staying connected to my dad through my friendship with William.