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  Inside the Lion II   After spending a year in New York City photographing Team WCM, I decided to move back to the West Coast and photograph Leung’s White Crane in the heart of San Francisco Chinatown.  Leung’s White Crane is one of the most esteemed lion dance groups in the United States and have a rich history dating all the way back to 1971. In recent years, they have even gone on to represent the USA on a world level at the biennial Genting World Lion Dance Competitions.  But beyond the bright lights and the bright costumes, it is the deeper fabric of lion dancing and the role it plays in 1st generation Chinese-Americans that continues to interest me.   I grew up watching Leung’s White Crane perform and even knew several members of the group. As a young kid growing up in America, it was always a very special thing for me to see people who looked just like me perform such great acrobatic tricks with so much vigor and pride.  To me, that was something worth remembering, and something I always knew I'd come back to document.  In a world that is moving faster than ever, lion dancing continues to live and breath as a special place for many 1st generation Chinese-Americans. It is a home away from home. A place where one can find a sense of belonging when the greater American world is too perplexing and the words of our traditional parents fail to translate. But more so, lion dancing is also an activity where Chinese-Americans can feel proud of one’s heritage in a country drastically lacking in realistic portrayals of who we really are.  In creating this series, I wanted to pay homage to an ancient art form that continues to connect so many of us 1st generation Chinese-Americans back to our roots that feel so familiar, yet, can feel so foreign, all at the same time.

Inside the Lion II

After spending a year in New York City photographing Team WCM, I decided to move back to the West Coast and photograph Leung’s White Crane in the heart of San Francisco Chinatown.

Leung’s White Crane is one of the most esteemed lion dance groups in the United States and have a rich history dating all the way back to 1971. In recent years, they have even gone on to represent the USA on a world level at the biennial Genting World Lion Dance Competitions.

But beyond the bright lights and the bright costumes, it is the deeper fabric of lion dancing and the role it plays in 1st generation Chinese-Americans that continues to interest me. 

I grew up watching Leung’s White Crane perform and even knew several members of the group. As a young kid growing up in America, it was always a very special thing for me to see people who looked just like me perform such great acrobatic tricks with so much vigor and pride.

To me, that was something worth remembering, and something I always knew I'd come back to document.

In a world that is moving faster than ever, lion dancing continues to live and breath as a special place for many 1st generation Chinese-Americans. It is a home away from home. A place where one can find a sense of belonging when the greater American world is too perplexing and the words of our traditional parents fail to translate. But more so, lion dancing is also an activity where Chinese-Americans can feel proud of one’s heritage in a country drastically lacking in realistic portrayals of who we really are.

In creating this series, I wanted to pay homage to an ancient art form that continues to connect so many of us 1st generation Chinese-Americans back to our roots that feel so familiar, yet, can feel so foreign, all at the same time.

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Inside the Lion II

After spending a year in New York City photographing Team WCM, I decided to move back to the West Coast and photograph Leung’s White Crane in the heart of San Francisco Chinatown.

Leung’s White Crane is one of the most esteemed lion dance groups in the United States and have a rich history dating all the way back to 1971. In recent years, they have even gone on to represent the USA on a world level at the biennial Genting World Lion Dance Competitions.

But beyond the bright lights and the bright costumes, it is the deeper fabric of lion dancing and the role it plays in 1st generation Chinese-Americans that continues to interest me. 

I grew up watching Leung’s White Crane perform and even knew several members of the group. As a young kid growing up in America, it was always a very special thing for me to see people who looked just like me perform such great acrobatic tricks with so much vigor and pride.

To me, that was something worth remembering, and something I always knew I'd come back to document.

In a world that is moving faster than ever, lion dancing continues to live and breath as a special place for many 1st generation Chinese-Americans. It is a home away from home. A place where one can find a sense of belonging when the greater American world is too perplexing and the words of our traditional parents fail to translate. But more so, lion dancing is also an activity where Chinese-Americans can feel proud of one’s heritage in a country drastically lacking in realistic portrayals of who we really are.

In creating this series, I wanted to pay homage to an ancient art form that continues to connect so many of us 1st generation Chinese-Americans back to our roots that feel so familiar, yet, can feel so foreign, all at the same time.

  Inside the Lion II   After spending a year in New York City photographing Team WCM, I decided to move back to the West Coast and photograph Leung’s White Crane in the heart of San Francisco Chinatown.  Leung’s White Crane is one of the most esteemed lion dance groups in the United States and have a rich history dating all the way back to 1971. In recent years, they have even gone on to represent the USA on a world level at the biennial Genting World Lion Dance Competitions.  But beyond the bright lights and the bright costumes, it is the deeper fabric of lion dancing and the role it plays in 1st generation Chinese-Americans that continues to interest me.   I grew up watching Leung’s White Crane perform and even knew several members of the group. As a young kid growing up in America, it was always a very special thing for me to see people who looked just like me perform such great acrobatic tricks with so much vigor and pride.  To me, that was something worth remembering, and something I always knew I'd come back to document.  In a world that is moving faster than ever, lion dancing continues to live and breath as a special place for many 1st generation Chinese-Americans. It is a home away from home. A place where one can find a sense of belonging when the greater American world is too perplexing and the words of our traditional parents fail to translate. But more so, lion dancing is also an activity where Chinese-Americans can feel proud of one’s heritage in a country drastically lacking in realistic portrayals of who we really are.  In creating this series, I wanted to pay homage to an ancient art form that continues to connect so many of us 1st generation Chinese-Americans back to our roots that feel so familiar, yet, can feel so foreign, all at the same time.
WC_005631 v1.jpg
IMG_8521 v1.jpg
043A2840 v1.jpg
IMG_7551 v1.jpg
WC_020545 v1.jpg
WC_023312 v1.jpg
043A3442 v1.jpg
WC_006111 v1.jpg
WC_004026 v2.jpg
IMG_7135 v1.jpg
WC_001666 v1.jpg
IMG_7190 v1.jpg
WC_021161 v1.jpg
IMG_5342 v1.jpg
IMG_6627 v1.jpg
IMG_8969 v1.jpg
043A2202 v1.jpg
WC_025374 v1.jpg
WC_019932 v1.jpg
IMG_7651 v1.jpg
WC_019993 v1.jpg
WC_006288 v1.jpg
WC_010872 v1.jpg
IMG_8796 v1.jpg
IMG_9375 v1.jpg
WC_000269 v1.jpg
IMG_7318 v1.jpg
IMG_6011 v1.jpg
WC_024503 v1.jpg
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