In 2016, I went to Siem Reap Orphanage as a volunteer. In my memory, an orphanage was always gray and depressing. It was a place full of discarded children who were sent by their parents as economic burdens. It was a place with disabled kids babbling and calling for attention.
These children’s tiny shoulders were burdened with illness, economic pressure, and even life-and-death. However, their eyes were still clear like the early morning dew and bright like the black onyx stone. I remembered a little girl secretly tying a bracelet on my wrist that she was supposed to sell. I also remembered one boy practicing soccer barefoot every day for his dream of becoming an athlete…
Instead of saying that I, as a volunteer, helped these kids, I would rather say that they inspired me to break the typical framework and stereotype of poorness, as well as to listen to and dig into people’s stories.
I captured their clean, sparkling eyes through my camera and named this set of photos “See You Tomorrow.” From that point, the camera becomes my second pair of eyes and filming is the tool I use to pass my messages to the world.
Two years later, I went back to the same orphanage to do a follow-up video about these kids’ current lives.
In 2018, I made a short fiction film about the LGBTQ community, encouraging queer folks to embrace their identity and calling for a more diverse society.
The following summer, I moved to a remote island in Northeast China for half a month to film a story about a village girl and her simple dream.
. . .
The world has much more to be seen. This is the reason why I want to be an observer and storyteller to voice every invisible story louder till it echoes.