Girls From Mekong Delta

This project “Girls from Mekong Delta” was explored in this small island in Mekong Delta area in Vietnam, which locals indicated that many girls from that island had married to foreigners. My photographic essay focuses on the idea that the way girls’ reasoning their self-identities may be unique given their Asian familial relationships. There seems a conflicting signal to these young women that they are expected to take such a great risk of marrying foreigners for better life opportunities, and at the same time they are somewhat expected to be responsible for the family who were left behind by sending a small amount of money home. It appears that the girls need to be independent but they cannot be totally independent of their own life in order to maintain to be the "good” daughter.

As expected it took some time to gain access to the community. I have visited and photographed in that island several times over 3 years. At my each visit, I stayed in a local house that allowed me to get to know their daily life. As I felt comfortable with the community of people on the island, they gradually opened up their minds. They allowed me to photograph in their houses and helped me to create some of panoramic shots by posing in front of my camera. This body of works reflects the shared experience and emotion between photographer and people on the island. Some of the images are staged but they are completely fictional. The selected photographs were created mainly on that island with families who wish their daughters to marry foreigners or who had already daughters in foreign countries. In documentation of the people and place in this island, I intended to gain an in-depth understanding why these young women make such decisions.