year of birth
I arrived to the UK as a refugee from Vietnam. The political situation in Vietnam was getting more and more violent towards the ethnic Chinese and overnight I found myself redundant. Over a long time, we were being pushed out of the country and we were left with no choice but to flee Vietnam as a family with three kids as boat people.
After spending a month sailing to Hong Kong, this was the first photograph that was taken of me when I first got off with my family. We’ve nicknamed them ‘prisoner’s photographs’. In my whole life, I was born to a wealthy family and had a good education and had a good job as a teacher. I've never been treated poorly. At that time of the photo, I thought, wow, they really treat like me like a prisoner. At least, thank god, we didn't die in the sea, we are alive now.
I can guarantee you, if you ask one hundred Vietnamese families, I suppose one hundred percent will say, no sorry we didn't keep those refugee pictures. They didn't see it as valuable. Some even ask, why bother to in keeping these photos, it’s a very bloody memory and we don't want to keep them. Even though these photos are from a difficult time, I feel that it's a part of world wide history and for me, it’s important to remember.