Guangzhou-based photographers Wenjun Chen and Yanmei Jiang road tripped through the United States, documenting and befriending Chinese American families along the way. Over the course of their 3-month journey, they covered 16,000 kilometers, crossed 18 cities, walked nine national parks, and recorded 13 local families.
In the cover photo, Dave and Yunfan are artists living in Brooklyn, New York.
Coco moved to Los Angeles to give birth to a set of twins. She and her husband rented a room on the first floor of a villa away from the Chinese district, where they enjoy greater peace and quiet.
During the summer, the family’s 7-year old child keeps busy with taekwondo and swimming lessons. The grandparents described the little boy as growing more “straightforward” and “humorous” since moving to the United States.
Josh and Cong live in a Louisville home by the woods. The family speaks Mandarin and English around the house. They moved to the United States they could no longer stand the daily smog in Beijing.
Sisters Amy and Sunny live under the care of their British aunt in San Francisco. Their parents both work in China.
Karen and Jiang live in a duplex cottage with a large outdoor lawn. They keep a dog named Rambo. Their house cost around $300,000 and is typical of middle class families in the area.
Reflecting on their journey, the photographers said that the experience had changed their perspective on life. Upon returning to their home in Guangzhou, they said that that atmosphere felt very uncomfortable and strange, adding that it was difficult to feel normal again.
Chinese citizens have previously responded to American photographers’ portrayals of China with distress. How will Chinese-American citizens respond to a Chinese photographer’s portrayal of their lives?
By Eugenia Xiao
[Images via Sina]