Growing up as a first generation Taiwanese American, I struggled to find a sense of belonging in suburbia where I was raised. But like many other Asian Americans, I found a sense of belonging during my weekend trips to Flushing: a place often referred to as the “real” Chinatown — stepping off the last stop of the 7 train, it is almost like you have been transported to another world with the busy streets, colorful Chinese signage, and endless restaurants.
From Flushing is a book of photographs that I took while exploring the busy environment around me. These images sit with portraits of my friends that have grown up with a special relationship to Flushing, Queens while also showing their specific passions that tie them to the community. Intertwined with the portraits are interviews where we discuss childhood nostalgia, shared memories, but also the realities of Flushing’s continual changes as it gentrifies. The goal of From Flushing was to share similar, but unique stories that create deeper human connections. With the rise in Asian hate crimes due to the pandemic, now more than ever is the time to empower and make visible the Asian American community within New York City so that we can shine a light on what makes it so special.
In this project, I am able to communicate the importance of preserving memories while also creating new ones with the people I interview. In this way remembrance and formation of new memories are intertwined, creating a continuous process.