Graceful Poetry of the Traditional Ao Dai
Every country has their traditional dress, in the Vietnamese culture the epitome of grace and beauty is the Ao Dai (pronounced "Ow Yai"). Young girls would typically wear a plain white Ao Dai as their school uniform. And in modern days the dress is worn at special occasions, namely as apart of their bridal dress. For Vietnamese Americans outside of cultural events or weddings there isn't much chance to display the gorgeous flowing and body-fitting dress. My friend recently had a number of dresses custom made from Vietnam. At her recent birthday brunch, I suggested that we do a photo shoot with these lovely dresses.
My friend is talented in music, but she recently discovered her gifting in writing. Her story telling and poet's voice started to emerge this past year. As she's described to me, these stories or poems would come as a flood. Some of these poems were only meant for herself, but a few have been shared on some forums. To her surprise, they have been so well received for her sentiments in her stories and poems have also hit a cord in other women's experiences. Although initially this photo shoot was to give her a chance to display her wonderful traditional dresses. Inspired by her transformation, I wanted to create a portrait that reflects this deeper change. This composite of three of my favorite image is my attempt to convey her journey in the discovery of her voice. The first image of her face was so beautiful and contemporary, while the background images reflect the peacefulness of her smile, as well as the faint grace of the Ao Dai - her heritage.