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TCM | CULTURE | IDENTITY is a series from my Travel Book collection, in which I explore the Chinese side of my heritage through Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices, cultural immersion, and self-exploration. In Chinese culture, the principle of balance is essential to living a healthy life. Each individual has a different constitution (Yin/Yang) that requires conscious effort and attention to maintain or regulate balance. I portray my experience striving to find balance between these forces from the perspective of a bi-cultural person who is alternately pushed away from and toward it. The series features portraits I took of my back right after two separate TCM treatments, ‘Ba Huo Guan’ also known in English as Cupping, and the less-familiar ‘Fu Yang Guan’, which is the process of stimulating the skin of the back using a hot scraper and intense pressure. Both of these treatments are meant to pull excessive “coolness” from the body to restore a healthy internal balance.

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