on social media

I think there is something about the sort of dissatisfaction we experience that is unique to our time. It’s funny we have all these great tools to allow us communicate more easily than ever before, but people are probably more self-absorbed in general than ever before. 

I’m not religious in any dogmatic sense, but I have spent some time reading into Buddhist philosophy recently, and that has changed my perspective a lot. I’ve become more aware of my own need for validation. Most people in general feel this need. Part of that is the human condition but it’s also exaggerated by a modern need for instant gratification, and a feeling of lack. 

I often joke that my grandfather would be super pissed to hear about me griping over lost followers given the life-changing challenges he went through. I can’t imagine him checking his Instagram to see how many likes his selfie got. I can’t imagine him giving a damn about any of that. I admire that, but then here I am, carefully curating my personal brand. It’s sort of hilarious. 

I guess the key is to keep a sense of humor about it, and not take anything too seriously. Nothing matters, everything matters. “How strange it is to be anything at all.”




right in my own backyard

while in paris, i was struck by the fascination that (some of) the french had for american culture. I was asked if I liked paris and when I gave them that affirmation and expressed how sad I was in leaving france, the response was “why?! you’re going back to new york city!” I guess comparing the two cities will be another topic for another day, but it speaks to the tendency to be fascinated with something new. Which is to say, if a new yorker arrived in paris and a parisian arrived in new york for the first time, both of them will be more apt to say “THIS PLACE ROCKS.” it’s just different, and as human beings we’re all attracted to a new experience.

the people i spoke to were on the verge of heading to the states and driving from texas to florida all in two weeks, stopping off along the way in austin, new orleans, and orlando.

they were excited to see the vast openness of america with their own eyes and when i asked them what they specifically wanted to experience in the states, they came up with things so quintessentially american that it threw me for a loop as to how much I really took these experiences for granted. they wanted to stay at a dodgy motel, eat diner food with a cup of coffee, and to see remnants of the old west. and in the end, they wanted to go to disney world.

stuff straight out of movies, television and pop culture.

it got me thinking about how much of the country i really haven’t seen. i still have memories from family trips to yellowstone and idaho falls from my childhood, but those memories have sadly become hazy, just as sepia-toned as the dirt roads leading into Jackson, Wyoming. there is still so much i want to see in the world, but often times i forget that there’s a whole world right in this country, right in my own backyard.

as with my previous entry, i guess this is a long-winded way of me trying to point my work towards a more personal documentation of america and what the country means to me, warts and all.

all of these thoughts came back to me when i was in ogden, utah last week. as is always said, i didn’t shoot as much as i would have wanted to in utah. however, here are a few that i did take, and happened to like.



good friends

david, an old friend of mine, drove me around the hometown a bit last week, with no real purpose but to catch up and see if i can capture any good shots around Rockville. it was a good time, and much needed after a few months of feeling a little erratic in my work and personal life.


and all of this is really to say that i’ve been encountering some roadblocks lately and maybe i’ve run out of things to say in a creative sense but this recent visit back home showed me that’s not true. there are details or aspects that are different each time i physically capture an image, but ultimately it’s the same feelings, the same perspectives, the same emotions every time in my work. 


if anything, i’m reinvigorated 



Copyright © 2019 HwongExposure All rights reserved.
Using Format