I just came back from California, yesterday 10/18/14, at 1 pm and edited the photographs that I made while out there. I was able to take a day away to photograph some more scenes for "Searching for Little Saigon in America." As well as explore another night market in California. It's not fair, how come Philadelphia does not have as many as California?
When I was in California, two weeks ago, I was able to check out just an "icing" of the Vietnamese community. I do wish I spent more time there, but split time with being with family and this project.
What I did see was an extremely vibrant community. One that I know that I will be returning to. Well whenever I head back to California that is. Where I went to were banh mi shops, which are very numerous, hair salons, and super markets. I did get into trouble at a super market. I just had my camera around my chest and a security guard came up to me and told me no photographs are allowed inside.
This community is really a self sustaining one and growing. Everywhere I went, there were political signs for Vietnamese politicians. It looks like this community has really adapted, but maintained our Vietnamese culture when they moved here.
Since my last post giving an update, I finally finished editing the pictures that I made in California. I split my time documenting my nephews and family, exploring, camping, and making food culture photographs.
As I went to different shops, two night food festivals, and some shops in Little Saigon, I made a lot of portraits! Two of the festivals that I went to was the 626 night market and the Ktown night market & OC block party.
I just came back from a 2 week journey to California to spend time with family with a huge catalog of photographs to work on. Not only did I take a lot of pictures of my nephews, can't help that.. I am an uncle after all, I looked for more pictures for my "Searching for Little Saigon in America" project. If you have just checked out this blog, I would love for you to participate in this survey or send this to those you know would want to be a part of this project: Be a part of Searching for Little Saigon in America.
There will be food culture post soon. I hope to edit the photographs by the end of the week! In the mean time, check out the instagrams!
I was on my flight to Irvine when I drafted these questions. As I hope to put this entire project into book form, I am slowly working on a long form essay to help build this narrative. But it can't just be from literary research. I need to get stories from others in it just as much as I want to put the photographs in. If you want to be photographed and/or be a part of this story, "Searching for Little Saigon in America" kindly email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the following questionnaire. I would love to photograph and interview you!
- Where were you born in Vietnam?
- What were some of your fondest memories?
- What were some of your worst memories?
- When did you leave Vietnam?
- When did you arrive in America?
- What were your first impressions of America? Did America fulfill those impressions and or goals that you had before coming to America?
- What do you miss from Vietnam?
- How long have you been living in the United States?
- What foods do you miss from Vietnam if you cannot find them or the ingredients here?
- Has the transition from Vietnam to America changed the food, the way you eat, and or the way the food is prepared in any way?
- Are all or some of your family members living outside of Vietnam?
- Do you plan on going back to Vietnam in the near future? If so what kind of memories and traditions do you miss there that you can't recreate in the US?
- How did you situate in your current location?
- What are your dreams for the future? For yourself, your spouse and or children?
- Did you meet the goals or dreams in America that you dreamed of before coming to the country?
- How do you see Vietnamese culture in America? Is it the same as in Vietnam or has it transformed? For better or for worse?
- What traditions of your family do you hope to be passed on?
- What do you think of the food in America? The culture of food? Has it affected Vietnamese cuisine?