We are Tiger Dragon People
In 2008 I was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to travel to Yunnan Province, China to create a photographic pop-up book of the 25 ethnic minority tribes that reside there Since then I have been diligently making the pop-up spreads and have started compiling them into editioned artist books.
As Yunnan is a microcosm of China in regards to minority affairs, my foremost goal is to inform and promote awareness of existence of these cultures that are rapidly evolving yet still widely inaccessible (or even unknown) to Americans. These ethnic groups have customs, histories, religious practices, languages and lifestyles that greatly differ from their Han majority neighbors. While I am directly unable to help these groups preserve their identity and ways of living, I can only use my skills as an artist to spread knowledge and provide just a brief portrait of their existence. I am a descendant of one of these tribes, my mother is from the Black Yi tribe. As I grow older I start to understand the importance of preserving one’s identity and culture, and the significance of learning one’s roots. In addition, the challenge of making pop-ups has been a healing process that I wish to share.