Artist Statement: Whenever I return home, I take a series of photographs during my short stay. In these uncertain times, I find myself bombarded by distressing headlines that promote anxiety and the fear of death. But during these times, I am also motivated to photograph my parents. This body of work is strongly influenced by photographer Larry Sultan, whose 'Pictures from Home' series explores a complicated parental relationship. He beautifully states, “I realize that beyond the rolls of film and the few good pictures, the demands of my project and my confusion about its meaning, is the wish to take photography literally. To stop time. I want my parents to live forever.” I do too, Sultan. This series of photographs presents a rich and gentle narrative of family kinship, the inevitability of aging, and the will to move forward. Both of my parents are Vietnamese immigrants who came to the United States in search of a better life. My father is a handyman, who can fix anything around the house. A man of few words. My mother is a hairdresser, who cuts our family’s hair in her small salon. A charismatic woman. In my work, the photographs show my parent's culmination of attaining the American Dream. Through the medium of the camera, I am examining my parent’s life and how they navigate the everyday, which includes the themes of work, successes, family relationships, and handling death of loved ones.
Artist Bio: Joseph Bui (he/him) is a Houston-based commercial and portrait photographer/artist. Identifying as Vietnamese-American and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, he developed an interest in storytelling on topics of relationships between people, community, identity, culture, and the theme of “home."
As an active listener and observer, he explores the strengths and vulnerabilities of the topics he works with, as well as their relationship to the environment they exist in. His work is informed by discovering people's personalities and perspectives, both on an individual level and through themes that connect them. This has led him to telling the stories of the Queer Community in Waterville, Maine, and most recently his own family in Houston, Texas through his photo book and series, “I Love You. I Miss You. Have A Good Day."