megan v soohoo 司徒詠梅

idea of being things you carry things you go through (photobook - photography senior thesis) 2020 - 2021

idea of being things you carry things you go through is a body of work that focuses on the traumatic childhood experiences I faced, spanning over two decades. This is the first attempt I have undergone to explore the trauma in a physical form, through the use of family archives and my own photographs. In this series, I examine childhood trauma with the help of landscapes, portraiture, and the domestic space. In the process of undergoing countless personal writings to truly understand the extremities of the mental, physical, and sexual abuse I faced. I was able to gain a better understanding of how to cope with what happened to me and really try to flesh out all the things I’ve been unknowingly holding in. Being forced to return home due to the Pandemic, I found myself confronting the place where all the traumatic events occurred and realized that for me to move forward I need to let the past stay the past.

By creating this work, I’ve realized there is a much bigger issue at play. The fact is that within our culture and society, we are taught to leave things behind closed doors, in the past or as forgotten, especially within Chinese/Asian culture. The fact is in doing so, it creates an unhealthy way of how we go about life. This further develops negative health problems that could result in diseases and mental health issues. The photographic process has allowed me to juxtapose a narrative to speak to the experience as an adolescent, how it has shaped me, and how I currently express those circumstances now. Ignoring these life-altering events have caused more visceral repercussions than I’d like to admit. But ultimately, I feel the need to speak my truth, acknowledge the ignorance and neglect that occurred, and take ownership of what I went through.

© megan soohoo