Being a Chinese myself, I have never thought about taking photos of oversea Chinese people as my social documentary project. Since I grew up as a Chinese in Taiwan, I was taught in the culture; therefore everything that has to do with Chinese is ordinary to me. When my art professors suggested this idea to me, I began to seriously think about the opportunity of developing a story of Chinese people in Berlin, Germany.
Because of the historical background of the country, it is difficult to find an area of the city where they live together, such as a China Town; therefore I started my research by visiting the Berlin Chinese Church located on Nassauische Street. On my way over there on a Sunday afternoon, I did not realize how excited I was since I had not encountered any Chinese people for more than 2 years, as a result of living in small town Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Meeting so many Chinese people from various backgrounds, I have developed a story that is not only theirs, but also very much mine as well. Left Taiwan when I was 12, haven’t gone back for 3 years, I am starting to worry about losing my native language and culture. Some of these people I encountered totally abandoned their past and moved on with a different lifestyle, some of them try to hang on to the things that reminds them that they are still Chinese. All of these people made serious life-changing decisions to leave their countries for better lives, better educations, better finances, better families, and better futures. This is a story of Chinese Berliners’ willingness to put their past aside so their dreams could come true.