Today is a very special day. My story documenting Chinese-American lion dancers has been featured in the New York Times Lens Blog, along with New York Times Metropolitan, and International New York Times. This means so much to me. Thank you to all my classmates and teachers from the International Center of Photography that helped me along the way. Thank you John for putting me in touch with lion dancers out here in New York City. And a very special thank you to Team WCM for taking me in and allowing me to share this wonderful ancient art form with the world.
Filtering by Tag: new york city
For this piece, instead of spending thousands of dollars getting framed exhibition quality art prints, we decided to go with the traditional wheatpaste technique most street artists use when bombing the streets of New York. It is imperfect, spontaneous, and even messy at times, but seeing that this is a documentation of street dancers, it was only appropriate to stay within the realms of street art.
Special thanks to Robyn for the opportunity of sharing my gift with the very people that inspired it.
1) Walk a cute dog. I once walked my friends dog around Washington Square Park and people literally came chasing after me. People love furry animals! Sometimes I wish I was a furry animal...
2) Carry a Leica. Especially in Williamsburg. Preferably an M6. Hipsters love vintage shit. It doesn't even have to be loaded with film. Hek, you don't even have to know how to use it. Instant conversation starter... "Hey is that a Leica?"
3) Show the slightest ability to dance. A little rhythm goes a long way. Warning: Everybody will assume you're a break dancer and insist that you do windmills and head spins. I repeat, show only the 'slightest' ability.
4) Wear a pom pom beanie. Make sure it's an obnoxiously bright color in case the pom pom fails to get their attention, and if you really want to catch their eye, wear one with the SF Giants logo on it, or the California Bear, because everybody loves California. Yeah, I said it.
5) Ask a tourist for directions. They'll be embarrassed that they can't provide you with the proper answer, but flattered that you thought they were a NEW YORKER. When they give you the heartbreaking news that they are not from here (which you already knew), just ask, "Oh, where are you from?" and it's smooth sailing from there buddy boy!
Now, here's the magic to all this. All these techniques can be reversed! You can the one chasing down that oh so adorable dog. You can be that hipster drooling over the Leica (that they don't know how to use). You can be the individual getting hooked on that amazing pom pom beanie and asking, "Hey, are you from California?"
Use these techniques and you'll be the most popular person in New York City. I guarantee it.
by Jason Lam
P.S. If you don't have any rhythm at all, then please take a moment and watch this instructional video clip. I still use the same moves to burn up the dance floor. Works every time.