The Census Bureau has predicted that by 2043, no single racial group will make up a majority in the U.S. Furthermore, the number of people who self-identify with multiple races is on the rise, increasing significantly more than the number of people who report a single racial identity.
But this phenomenon is not limited to the U.S. In her new photo series "Mixed Blood," photographer CYJO has captured stunning photographs of mixed-race families in both New York and Beijing. The families in these photos have multiple citizenships, ethnic identities, and traditions.
For the artist, who identifies as an American of Korean ethnicity, studying these families allowed her to further explore the multiculturalism that defines her own life. CYJO told The Huffington Post in an email, "[H]ow does that shape an individual’s identity? For many families, it meant that they weren’t exclusive to a side, a team, a tribe, a culture, a citizenship, and a race."
CYJO drew inspiration for "Mixed Blood" from one of her earlier projects, "KYOPO," which featured over 200 people, mostly Korean-Americans. After photographing and interviewing her subjects, CYJO was struck by the handful of individuals who had other ethnic identities, in addition to their Korean background.
The artist was also inspired to create "Mixed Blood" after noticing a trend in China, where modernization and increased access to travel has led to more interaction between people with different ethnic backgrounds. "Historical migration movements continue to help shape the American culture as it does for other countries, and it was important to share this reality, which is also my reality, outside of the American cultural context."
Looking back on the project, CYJO said she learned a great deal throughout her experience with the mixed-race families she photographed. "[W]hat I find intriguing about these families is that they defy the border and racial conflicts that we read about or may have experienced. Although there can be some complexities that hint at the tensions and differences from the power of heritage, these portraits and narratives illustrate how their love naturally crosses boundaries."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Check out some of the stunning photographs below.
Mixed Blood is a traveling exhibition in China that launched at Today Art Museum in Beijing and is sponsored by the US Embassy in Beijing, China. It is curated by Nik Apostolides and designed by Timothy Archambault.