“It reduces stress! Increases your metabolism! Detoxifies the body! Strengthens your immune system!” That alone was sort of interesting to me. Can it also ward off evil spirits? Prevent clumsiness? Make me appreciate jazz?
It took time to build up the confidence to take pictures of people. I started out timid, shooting from the hip and hiding the camera. I hated that feeling - and the shots were terrible. But after a couple of weeks of studying and practicing in the city, it got easier.
We believe Van’s story is extra poignant because she is an immigrant and came to the United States with the assumption that she would be working in a safe environment. Audiences are very inspired by Van’s journey, because she transforms from a nail salon worker to an advocate.
It’s a form that exists in different worlds. It can be incredibly private but still reach a large audience. I can spend solitary hours in my Paper Cave, folding and gluing and sewing until the sun comes up - but the book also allows me to interact with a large community.
As a black man in the United States he decided to turn his attention and focus towards challenging the traditions of popular culture while celebrating black culture and the black experience at the same time.