Raised in New York City, I grew up with a curiosity and fascination with suburbia. With more space and more green, I imagined it as an idyllic place that offered a more beautiful and simple life than the grit and complications of the "concrete jungle".
When I had the opportunity to photograph Kristina and her younger sister Sam in 2002, I had my first peek into suburbia. And, as this one time photo shoot turned into an ongoing project, I gained access to a suburban reality that offered me a new perspective on adolescence and the notions on beauty, simplicity, grit and complication. This new perspective, through the gradual unveiling of the physical and emotional growth of each girl, deepened my appreciation for the process of growing up.
This volume of images represents my celebration of the search for self-awareness that is inherent in the process of growing up. A search that is filled with angst, uncertainty and excitement - where everything happens, yet nothing happens fast enough, and where wanting to belong goes hand in hand with wanting to stand out. A search that doesn't necessarily change with more space and more green.
- Mei Tao