Shana, December 19

Collection of the artist

Days before he was set to embark on a road trip, in December 2020, the photographer Grade Solomon had a chance encounter with Shana, the subject of this portrait. Solomon described his wishes to come to terms with the unknown, and Shana asked if she could join him. At a moment when anti-Asian hate was on the rise, the two discussed their lives as biracial Asians and connected on a personal level.

“Her piercing gaze is not at the lens, but at me,” according to Solomon. Attentive to the interplay of light, shadow, and color, he photographed Shana in the early evening, on Interstate 30, between New Boston and Dalby Springs, in Texas. They were three days into their journey, one that has had a lasting impact on both of them. This photograph now remains as a memento of their time on the road, providing a view into their past selves.