A Photo Series on Family Fights and Alienation: ĐừNg Có Làm Mẹ BuồN (“Don’t Make Mom Sad”)

By Bryan Doan

“Đừng có làm mẹ buồn” was a phrase echoed throughout childhood during tumultuous family fights. I’ve always felt alienated, so I would mold myself into versions I believed would appease them (i.e “corporate business [cis] MAN”). I was born and raised in Minnesota, until a year ago, when I moved to New York. I felt even more isolated in my “pretty” new life and gig. Making art again has been a catalyst into endeavors I never thought were possible and has taught me self love and running toward what brings me happiness.

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Meet the Photographer:

Bryan is a 24-year-old nonbinary, second-gen Vietnamese Minnesotan based in Brooklyn, New York. They use whatever cheap film cameras found at thrift stores and expired film as a way to embrace and unlearn shame around growing up poor. It’s a blatant ‘FUCK YOU’ to traditional (elitist) notions and attitudes around who can “make art” or even be defined as an artist their work focuses on belonging and humor – it’s often been described as “nonfiction”, “genuine” and “dreamy” (because of the variation in colors due to the expired film). Check out Bryan on Instagram!


Sorjo Magazine

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