Photographer Diana Kim wandered the streets of Honolulu capturing the stories of local homeless people. This project aimed to shed light on the unfortunate stories of vagrants. However, things became quite personal as Diana reunited with a long lost loved one in the most unlikely of ways.
According to BBC News, the 32-year-old photographer had a problematic childhood. She would move from place to place, even sleeping in shelters, because of her parents’ separation. Diana admitted that she didn’t have good memories of her father, except for him introducing her to photography.
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“I didn’t really have the best memories of my father – he had pretty much left my mother and me by the time I was eight years old.”
“My father introduced me to photography. He was a landscape photographer and I remember my early years sitting in his studio, helping him by cracking open disposable cameras and watching him make prints.”
Things were put into perspective when Diana’s grandmother revealed that her father was suffering from schizophrenia. Diana’s father refused to take his medicine which led to a downward spiral that got him evicted from his apartment.
Sadly, when the photographer finally located him near a fire station, he didn’t seem to recognize her. Diana Kim tried numerous times to get him to remember but it was only after a heart attack scare that things began looking up.
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“When I saw him lying there it was amazing, because he was the healthiest that I had seen him in two or three years – he was lying in a clean bed, with clothes that were the cleanest I had ever seen – hospital garments but they were clean – his face was clean, he had gained a little bit of weight and it was overwhelming. I didn’t know what to do, I kept crying.”
Her once-mentally ill father now has a goal in life which pushes him to become better. Diana Kim is very proud and quite amazed by the drastic change that occurred in her father’s life.
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“It’s beautiful in one sense – he missed out on so much in my life and now I feel I am able to catch up, but from a maternal stance, even though I am the daughter. I am helping him to get back on his own two feet.”