Like My Father

12 November 2013

My father was being treated for cancer. He had lost more than 20 kilograms in a few months. One day, as I looked at him, it surprised me how very small he looked in his old clothes, like a child dressing up from his parents’ wardrobe. I suddenly felt so grown up. The sense of responsibility to my family dawned on me heavily. I was reminded of the past, when my dad used to take me to the park and buy me stuffed toys. He used to take funny photos of me. I wanted to do something like that for him, as he has done for me. We went to the same park and played like in old days.

I was very touched, and admired his courage and commitment. He was cheerful and optimistic even when struggling with his health. There were so many things I wanted to do with my dad. This was a chance to do one of them, however small. I wanted the photos I took to reflect hope for my dad and our family, and to serve as an uplifting and bright memento of his life.

Maika Elan
Maika Elan (Nguyen Thanh Hai) was born in Vietnam, and lives and works in Hanoi. After taking a BA in sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2006, Maika started to use the camera to document her daily and private life. She soon turned to professional photography, working for editorial clients and fashion firms in Vietnam. In 2010, she took up documentary photography.