Unity and Diversity
New York University
New York City
Momo Takahashi is a 22-year-old first-generation Japanese American photographer born and raised in Queens, New York. With a background in creative arts, she began shooting at the age of 17 and developed her interest in photography. Her work now as a documentary photographer aims to highlight and uplift the stories of the Asian American Pacific Islander community and the working-class people of New York City. She is currently in her fourth year pursuing a BFA at NYU Tisch for Photography and Imaging.
New York City, United States
As Asian Americans are targeted for violence during the pandemic in the United States, the sentiment that we are viewed as the “Other” is overwhelmingly prevalent; cementing the notion that our Asian bodies do not belong in this country. As part of the Asian diaspora, Asian Americans exist between the in-betweens of our dual identities, connected to two different lands. Where do we truly belong? Where do we call home?
Anchored by my upbringing by my Japanese immigrant parents and as a response to the anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S., "Where We Call Home" is a photographic series documenting Asian Americans in their homes, depicting the ways one keeps ties to their cultural background and forms their own cultural identity. These portraits centered around “home” reveal the connection between the spaces we reside in, to the idea of belongingness within a homeland. Portraits of these individuals were taken in the intimacy of their homes, as the sitter and I collaborated in showcasing the significance of the environment and how they honor their Asian heritage. The cultural connections depicted in the photographs through food, decor, rituals, and language demonstrates the ways we as Asian Americans carve out our own space unique to our transnational identity within a country that treats us as perpetual foreigners. Most importantly, the photos represent the resiliency and beauty of the Asian American community despite the hardships we have faced thus far.