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 ArtistArtist 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.