Juicy is a multimedia documentation of five Asian American women aged 60 and above. In interviews recorded at their homes, the women reflect on aging as a force behind their emotional and social transformations. The accompanying photographs weave symbolic elements of their identities into classic portraits of modern women from the Asian diaspora. 

Media depictions often relegate older Asian American women to the sidelines, their rich experiences obscured by society’s obsession with youth and youthfulness. These photographs bring them back into focus by visualizing their rich inner lives. Using objects from their homes and interests, I collaborate with each subject to ensure they have direct influence on their portraits, which celebrate their enduring presence.

I was personally motivated to create this series. As a third-generation Chinese American, I came to understand my heritage through habits and traditions passed down by family elders rather than my own lived experiences outside of home. When I lost my maternal grandparents – immigrants from China who built a life in midwestern America – a crucial link to that part of my identity was severed. Juicy was my bridge back to a pan-Asian American culture, fostering an intergenerational connection I longed to have with them.

My mother, Maylynn Yen, at age 64

“Despite all the coldness around you, and lack of stimulus, and lack of acceptance, there’s something inside that’s drawing you to self-realization and self-actualization. That would depict my past... Because there was lack of guidance all around me, or there was negative guidance. But somehow I knew that wasn’t the way to be. That there was something greater.”  – Maylynn, 64

Susan Almazol, at age 72

“I am now 77, loving all the photographs I’m taking of my body, and its nakedness. And enjoying all the different reactions to my new art.” – Susan, 77

Ruth Ichinaga, at age 82

"Not too many people think about this age group, and I think [this project] is wonderful because we’re still alive at this age. We're still juicy. We're not all dried up... I mean, we look dried up, but our minds are still active. We're still doing crazy things." – Ruth, 82

Sigi Arnejo, at age 61

“I want everyone to know that as Asian American women, we can do anything. If you can get married, have children, and then come out at the age of 30 and survive, that’s huge. I want to be that advocate. I want to say you don’t have to be stuck. I’m 61 years old, and it took me a long time to get here. I want to celebrate.”  – Sigi, 61

Terri Dora Wong, at age 60

“Some of us never grow up, and that might be the case with me. At 100, I might still be evolving. God knows into what, but I promise not to embarass the kids.” – Terri, 60

Copyright Laura Ming Wong © 2024