I’ve added a new story to the photojournalism section of this website. The story follows Gund Kwok, the United States’ first and only all-Asian-women lion dance troupe as they prepare for 2023 Lunar New Year celebrations around Boston. The group is now in its 25th year and led by the 65-year-old Cheng Imm Tan, who started the group as a way to empower Asian women to show their creativity, power, and strength in an art form that has historically been open only to men.
For the New York Times, I spent an a little time in the W. H. Bagshaw’s factory in Nashua, New Hampshire, a beautiful facility that’s more than a century old. The company specializes in small machined metal and wire pieces for the aerospace and medical sectors, but which has also included phonograph needles over the years.
The story is about how high turnover in manufacturing and other sectors has led to a decrease in productivity due to the time it takes to retrain new hires.
“The Embrace,” a new two-story sculpture celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife Coretta Scott King, who met in Boston, was unveiled on Jan. 13, 2023, in Boston Common, America’s first public park. It’s the first new piece of art added to the Common in decades. The sculpture’s abstract form–which has drawn some criticism–is drawn from a photo of when the couple embraced after learning MLK had won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.
While the sculpture’s website said, “Come on down to Boston Common on Friday January 13 to the outdoor unveiling and stand with us,” the actual unveiling ceremony was only open to ticket-holders. There were large screens set up outside the ceremony so the general public could view the proceedings, but many outside the fence were frustrated without a way to glimpse the new sculpture with their own eyes until they pulled down the green fabric on the fence obscuring their view.
For the New York Times, I spent a day in Rochester, New Hampshire, a small town with a tied State Representative midterm race. The two candidates for Ward 4 rep live on the same street and have known each other for years and both received 970 votes. The winner will be determine in a run-off election in February. It was such a joy to just wander around and find what I could: an over-45 pickleball tournament, a comic store where political discussion is forbidden, scenes around the town, a bar where political discussion doesn’t happen often (one patron expressed surprise about the tied election; “I don’t see the divide here”), and one of the candidates, Republican David Walker, who has previously served as mayor and on the city council. Other parts of the story photographed by Ryan David Brown.
For French business weekly Le Point, I visited two of Moderna’s lab and office facilities in Massachusetts to photograph inside their labs and the company’s CEO Stéphane Bancel as the company moves beyond the coronavirus vaccine and pushes toward a so-called personalized cancer vaccine.
It was a difficult shoot with extremely limited access; lab spaces were generally off-limits or behind glass and had about 3 minutes for portraits with the CEO.