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the perpetual tourist

heritage and alienation


lurking presences

Silver gelatin prints
March-May 2023

This portfolio of work comprised of 3 sets of black and white photographs explore how place, identity, and belonging are mutually constructed through interactions with space. Shot in Chicago's Loop, Chinatown, and Hyde Park neighborhoods, these are the places I frequented during my time living in the city as a UChicago student and which shaped my academic and personal trajectories for four years.

Growing up as a Chinese American person in predominantly white spaces, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. Always stuck in limbo between cultures, too whitewashed to be accepted in asian spaces and too asian to be accepted in white ones, constantly roaming the space between, never feeling like the roots I set down will be permanent because sooner or later, I will be called out as a fraud and feel pressured to remove myself.

Spending the entirety of my time in Chicago as a student, I never felt that I really came to know the city because I was too busy to leave the Hyde Park campus bubble. I barely even know my school's campus aside from the buildings where I had classes. And so, this body of work ultimately presents an impression of the Chicago from the perspective of someone who was effectively a long-term tourist.

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