Lately, my work has taken the form of a direct visual narrative concerning social and cultural issues in my own community. The narrative my work explores is one of freedom, identity, and control: I am exploring the strength bound and relationship between teenagers and their identity. That’s why I chose to title this series Lily, after the flower, which is a symbol of humility and devotion.
This story is an exploration of the reasons teenagers commonly hide their true identities behind a socially-acceptable mask. Some define this sort of behavior as fear, but I prefer to think of it as patience: waiting for the right moment to emerge in which you can commit to being yourself. These teenagers know what they truly are, but society—and its religion, culture, labels, and taboos—offers resistance.
Lilies are often associated with funerals as well. I hope this story inspires people to remember that funerals are different from death. At funerals, lilies symbolize the purity of one’s soul. Accordingly, the intimate frames here reflect that purity which can only be fully inhabited when the world isn’t watching. It’s like the moment when you lock your bathroom and you can sing as loudly as you want while taking your shower. Yes, this is the story of a lily—the story of the moment when you can lock your room and be whatever you wanna be.