DERRICK DUAN 

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Room for Two
c.2021-ongoing / Analog photography series / B&W



By choice or not, all of us carry our parent’s baggage.

Children of diasporic families foster complicated relationships with their new environments; they spend their formative years observing, adapting to a foreign cultural landscape, discovering the best version of themselves. But these same children confront even more complicated relationships at home, with their parents, where an oft-different cultural convention dominates.

In our house, conversations about gender identity and mental illness still struggle to find a footing. Most attempts to translate, educate or even entreat are stifled by a combination of Asian stigma, dismissal by ignorance, language barrier and my downright, intense immigrant guilt -- how can I have struggles, when they’ve given up everything for us to be happier?
Room for Two is a body of work that begins to examine such a relationship between me and my parents. Presented as a series of flash photographs with an investigative tint, flowers have become the main subject and a vessel for visual metaphors, to help break down the family dynamics that are hardly spoken of, and their effect on me over the long years.