Photographer Reveals What It’s Really Like to Live as a Chinese-American

What is it like being a Chinese-American living in the United States? Wenjun Chen and Yanmei Jiang from Guangzhou, China, set out to find the answer to that question via a road trip that took them through the US visiting Chinese-American families and documenting their everyday lives in pictures.

Chen and Jiang, both photographers, scoured social media to find families who would give them temporary shelter in exchange for including them in their project, according to Shanghaiist (via Sina). This involved taking family photos for them and documenting their everyday lives. The trip that took them three months to finish introduced them to new-found friends while they lived with 13 families across 18 US cities.

According to Chen and Jiang, they decided to resign from their jobs as magazine photo editors in order to “make a change and try to find out the right way of our life.”

Their new chosen path of traveling led them to Thailand and Cambodia where they met an American traveler whom they credit for inspiring them in their journey.

“He said that it was amazing to camp in the wild in America,” they wrote in a blog post. “So we make decision to travel to America. We are good at photography, so we hope to make a photography project during the journey.”

They have documented all their travels on their Facebook page. In their public journals, the photographers said that the experience had changed their perspective on life.

We have a better understanding about the world and different lifestyles,” they wrote. “We often spend seven or eight hours a day in car during the trip, watching the changing view outside and talking small jokes. Perhaps this is just what we want, to force ourselves to calm down and enjoy the silence of being free.

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