In 1979, a bloody border war started between Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China, and following a series of repressive policies that targeted Chinese immigrants, Dong Hong-Oai became one of the millions of “boat people”who left Vietnam during the 70s and 80s. At the age of 50, speaking no English and knowing no one in America, the artist arrived in San Francisco and was even able to set up a small darkroom.
Russian-born Nina Leen was one of the first female photographers to shoot for LIFE magazine, which, fortunately for us, means there’s a ton of her work available on the Google LIFE photo archives. While mostly known for her work with animals including a dog named Lucky that she adopted and apparently put hats on, it’s Leen’s photographs of women that I find most fascinating.
Fabienne Verdier paints with unconventionally large tools. She creates her own brushes, made from substances like sheep hair, duck down, or horse hair, sometimes reaching 6 feet long and over 150 pounds. The brushes are suspended with rope, and then handled physically, or with the help of a pair of bicycle handlebars.