My father with the cat toys in Lenin Park, Hanoi, is overlaid by a pattern of ferris wheel from water park in Hanoi, Viet Nam on August, 2013.

My father with the cat toys in Lenin Park, Hanoi, is overlaid by a pattern of ferris wheel from water park in Hanoi, Viet Nam on August, 2013.

My father and the baby swings in the Lenin park in Hanoi, Viet Nam on August 2013.

My father and the baby swings in the Lenin park in Hanoi, Viet Nam on August 2013.

My father was lying on the grass in Bach Thao park, Hanoi, is overload by a sunset image from the mountains in Da Lat, Viet Nam on August 2013

My father was lying on the grass in Bach Thao park, Hanoi, is overload by a sunset image from the mountains in Da Lat, Viet Nam on August 2013

My father was standing in the shade of ancient trees in Bach Thao Park, Hanoi, is overload by a pattern of cactus on the desert in Phan Rang, Viet Nam on August, 2013.

My father was standing in the shade of ancient trees in Bach Thao Park, Hanoi, is overload by a pattern of cactus on the desert in Phan Rang, Viet Nam on August, 2013.

My father was standing with monkey statue in the Thu Le zoo, Hanoi, is overload by a flower from a garden in Da Lat, Viet Nam on August 2013

My father was standing with monkey statue in the Thu Le zoo, Hanoi, is overload by a flower from a garden in Da Lat, Viet Nam on August 2013

My father's portrait is overlaid by a pattern of ferris wheel from water park in Hanoi, Viet Nam on August, 2013.

My father’s portrait is overlaid by a pattern of ferris wheel from water park in Hanoi, Viet Nam on August, 2013.

My father was walking with our dog in the The Le zoo, Hanoi, is overload by exercise image from Hoan Kiem lake, Hanoi, Viet Nam on August 2013.

My father was walking with our dog in the The Le zoo, Hanoi, is overload by exercise image from Hoan Kiem lake, Hanoi, Viet Nam on August 2013.

My dad was sitting with a tiger toy in Thu Le zoo, Hanoi, Viet Nam on August, 2013.

My dad was sitting with a tiger toy in Thu Le zoo, Hanoi, Viet Nam on August, 2013.

My father was lying on the children’s slide under the sunshine in Lenin park, Hanoi, is overload by leafs from the garden in Thu Le zoo in Hanoi, Vietnam on August 2013

My father was lying on the children’s slide under the sunshine in Lenin park, Hanoi, is overload by leafs from the garden in Thu Le zoo in Hanoi, Vietnam on August 2013

My father was meditating on grass in the Bach Thao zoo, Hanoi, is overload by the moutains from Da Lat, Viet Nam on August, 2013

My father was meditating on grass in the Bach Thao zoo, Hanoi, is overload by the moutains from Da Lat, Viet Nam on August, 2013

My father was meditating on grass in the Bach Thao zoo, Hanoi, is overload by the river from Tay Nguyen, Viet Nam on August, 2013

My father was meditating on grass in the Bach Thao zoo, Hanoi, is overload by the river from Tay Nguyen, Viet Nam on August, 2013

My dad is trying to climb up a tree in Bach Thao park, Hanoi, is over load by a moutain from Da Lat, Viet Nam on August, 2013

My dad is trying to climb up a tree in Bach Thao park, Hanoi, is over load by a moutain from Da Lat, Viet Nam on August, 2013

My father was standing with his dog under the sunshine in Lenin park, Hanoi, is overload by a flower from a garden in Da Lat, Viet Nam on August 2013

My father was standing with his dog under the sunshine in Lenin park, Hanoi, is overload by a flower from a garden in Da Lat, Viet Nam on August 2013

My dad is in treatment for his cancer. His weight has fell over 20kg in a few months. One day, I watched him as he was wearing his own clothes. It surprised me how very small he looked. He looked like a child trying to wear the clothes of adults – like when kids wear the clothes of their parents. I suddenly felt so grown up. The sense of responsibility to my family dawned on me heavily. I was reminded of the past, when my dad used to take me to the park and buy me a lot of stuffed animal toys. He took lots of funny photos of me. I think it's time for me to do something for my father, as he has done for me in the past. We both went to the same park and played like old days. For many months, my father could not get out of bed because of his poor health. He could only move lightly in our home. But he promised to help me make these pictures. He tried his very best to be able to go to the park and play, even for just a few days. I was very touched and admired his courage and commitment. He was cheerful and optimistic even when struggling with his health. I always wanted to do many things with my dad. This is a chance for me to do it, starting with smallest of things. I wish that these photographs I take reflect hope for my dad and our family, and serve always as uplifting and bright memories. My dad is in treatment for his cancer. His weight has fell over 20kg in a few months. One day, I watched him as he was wearing his own clothes. It surprised me how very small he looked. He looked like a child trying to wear the clothes of adults – like when kids wear the clothes of their parents. I suddenly felt so grown up. The sense of responsibility to my family dawned on me heavily. I was reminded of the past, when my dad used to take me to the park and buy me a lot of stuffed animal toys. He took lots of funny photos of me. I think it's time for me to do something for my father, as he has done for me in the past. We both went to the same park and played like old days. For many months, my father could not get out of bed because of his poor health. He could only move lightly in our home. But he promised to help me make these pictures. He tried his very best to be able to go to the park and play, even for just a few days. I was very touched and admired his courage and commitment. He was cheerful and optimistic even when struggling with his health. I always wanted to do many things with my dad. This is a chance for me to do it, starting with smallest of things. I wish that these photographs I take reflect hope for my dad and our family, and serve always as uplifting and bright memories.

Like My Father

Maika Elan

LIKE MY FATHER

My father is in treatment for his cancer. For many months, he could not get out of bed because of his poor health. His weight fell over 20kgs in a short time. One day I watched him as he was wearing his own clothes. It surprised me how very small he looked. He looked like a child trying to wear the clothes of adults – like when kids wear the clothes of their parents. I suddenly felt so grown up.

Then I was reminded of the past when my dad used to take me to the park and buy me a lot of stuffed animal toys. He also took many funny photos of me. I think it’s my turn to do something for my father, as he has done for me in the past. We both went back to the same park and played like old days. He had to try very hard to cope even just for a few hours.

I hope these pictures I make will be a big motivation for him. I hope they let him see that he is not as sick as he feels. In my heart, he is always a happy person and full of optimism.

Our little adventure began, like old days.

About the Artist

Artist Website

Maika Elan (aka Nguyen Thanh Hai) is a freelance photographer based in Hanoi.

After study sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Hanoi, Maika started to use the camera, and then Lomo’s family cameras, to take pictures of her daily and private life since 2008. She turned to professional photography soon starting collaborations for editorial clients and fashion firms in Vietnam. In 2010 Maika moved to documentary photography and her first project called The Pink Choice, focused on personal life of gay couples in Vietnam, has been published in many magazines on print and online such as in USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain, China, India and Brazil. Maika Elan was double-awarded for the “best photo essay” and the “best single photo” in 2010 at Indochina Media Memorial Foundation and in 2012 The Pink Choice was finalist at Asian Women Photographers.

Her first solo exhibition has been hosted at Goethe Institut in Hanoi in 2012.

The Pink Choice won 1st prize stories, Contemporary Issues, at World Press Photo 2013 and 1st prize documentary story at Pride Photo Award 2013.

Maika also participant in the 2013 Joop Swart Masterclass in Amsterdam, Holand and sellected for the VII Mentor program 2013.