Being raised in a different country comes with its own unique set of challenges. Your family not only looks vastly different to those around you, but they speak, act and celebrate traditions that sometimes integrate into the cultures. It can get confusing, and also in the formative years, embarrassing as kids struggle to fit in with their peers. You never quite feel like you belong.
Reylia Slaby is an American born and raised in Japan, but she was always trying to find her place in the world. People saw her as different, and though the Japanese culture was all she ever knew, she struggled to fit in and frequently questioned her identity. “While I had a lot to be thankful for growing up in Japan, being American made me a glorified visitor. My home was not fully my home because of how I looked.”
To explore some of the deeply locked emotions inside her, Slaby, now 21 years old, began the photo series, Tales From Japan. Reylia, who shared with us her journey to becoming a conceptual photographer in this post, shares that her images are reflections of her personal emotions.
The beginning of this project was like a breath of fresh air and it began to open doors in my mind and heart that I never knew were locked. It helped me deal with an aching pain I had always carried with me but never fully understood why.
To see more of Reylia Slaby’s work, check out her website here.
[Via My Modern Met]