There have been over 200,000 South Korean babies sent overseas since the Korean war, the majority made their way to the United States. During the 1980s an average of 24 children per day left the country. In 1982, at age six months, Kayla was flown to the United States and adopted by a Japanese American couple.
The Year of The Snake marks the first collaborative work by photographer Bruce Malone and Kayla Tange. The two first met in October of 2007 and soon embarked upon a unique exploration of identity chronicling Kayla's self discovery as an adoptee. The text is drawn from observations by social workers at the Korean orphanage and is preserved in it's original translated typewritten format. The varied characters are presented in many ways, some by the "shedding" of latex skin representing our constant ability to reinvent ourselves which is combined with photographic projection to describe their environment and emotions.
While the project originally began as a photographic vehicle to closure through the exploration of identity, it has extended and expanded into a multi media project capturing her emotional journey to Korea to meet her birth mother only for her mother to change her mind that day and the translated email and letter exchanges that continued after she returned to Los Angeles. The Year of the Snake is Kayla's ongoing passion project she hopes will inspire others to transform their shame, confusion and painful experiences associated with adoption and loss into art that ignites difficult conversations and meaningful connections.
This is an ongoing project