Many years ago, a friend ‘s grandmother shared her stories as a young American woman living in China and Russia in the early part of the twentieth century. I visualized the photographs that she might have tucked away in a box and often thought about her remarkable history. I was not only struck by how adventurous she was, but I also imagined the visual richness of her dress and environment.
Reflecting upon my immediate family’s photographic legacy, I felt that an exotic and significant heritage was sorely lacking — the birthday parties and family road trips seemed ordinary and unmarked with visual substance or beauty. I decided to create my own photographic interpretations of a life history my family and friends might have experienced in another era, producing portraits that that are a combination of evocative details, Asian influences, and nostalgia.
I have always been drawn to hand painted photographs, particularly the postcards that were produced in Japan at the turn of the century, and used them as inspiration to begin the series. All photographs were captured on film in black and white, and later hand painted.