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QUYEN, 2009

COLUMBUS, OH 

Quyen 2007: I thank my parents for my rich Vietnamese heritage and for having the courage to bring my family to the US.  I thank the US for giving me the freedom to be me.

Quyen 2011: Lately I’ve been operating under my new life mantra which is “be the spark that sets this world on fire.”  I’d always known that my colorful personality was due in part to my traditional Vietnamese upbringing and my alternative lifestyle.  But initially I felt as if these 2 were incongruous.  At the time of the portrait, I was still carrying around a lot of guilt and shame.  I wasn’t out at work or entirely to my family.  Being a part of the project not only helped me celebrate who I was but has convinced me to use what makes me different because that’s what makes me special.  It is my hope that when others see my portrait and statement, that they see a little bit of themselves in me and know that they are okay just the way they are.  And that will be my “spark.”