Youth in Bloom - Ry Sangalang Photography

Youth in Bloom

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” - Prospero, The Tempest, William Shakespeare

Once when I was just six, I ran to the ice cream truck  after school to buy some popsicles. I arrived at my Dad's car a few minutes late. He was so angry that he started to yell and viciously slap me around in front of my friends. I cried. I dropped my ice cream. I felt super embarrassed. My  friends looked on in shock. That was one of the many times my Dad made me feel worthless, like I could never do anything right, even buy ice cream. 

I'm not saying this to get pity, I'm saying this so you know where this series comes from. 

So as a kid, I retreated in into books and fantasy. I always loved stories of child  heroes such as Peter Pan, Little Nemo in Slumberland, and Sebastien from the Never Ending Story. But there were never Asian or Filipino heroes in media in general.

Doctors, art therapists, and Feng Shui practioners agree that images have power to influence development and  shape the way we think. So when my son Eli was born, I wanted to make an effort to surround him with imagery to positively influence his development.

Therefore, I created this series with the belief that by exposing him to images, where the child hero is looked like him, was him, he would have at least one diverse child adventurer to be inspired from, along with those commonly portrayed in popular media. 

Influenced by Neil Gaiman's Sandman  comic, the Little Nemo in Slumberland comic by Winsor McCay, created in 1905, and Peter Pan, created in 1902,.  I made these photomontages  dreamlike in nature. I used photos of Eli when he was just 3 months old, as he played in bed. 

Ultimately, I'd like to give my kid a strong positive sense of self. 

I'd also  like to create a children's fantasy story book using some of the art works. The photomontage themselves are completed  from photos  from the Philippines, Cambodia, Mexico, and the United States.

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