Project Foregone, but Not Forgotten is now called

A Moment in the Present

This project is about reaching out to and celebrating people who have touched our lives in special ways, whether it be our family, loved ones, friends, mentors, or anyone who has made a significant contribution to our lives. In this digital age today where speed triumphs and efficiency thrives, it has become too easy to lose track of those people who matter to us most.

The truth is, life is too ephemeral, too unpredictable, too capricious. Even the very next second of our lives isn't guaranteed.

So why do we live as if we have all the time in the world?

This project was inspired by my grandfather, and my need to seek healing for an unfulfilled promise.

Growing up in Southern California, I was never close to my paternal grandparents who lived overseas. When I had the chance to visit them once every few years, it was to have a meal for a few hours. On one of these occasions, my grandfather suddenly offered to take me to an amusement park. Although I was excited, I did not know him well, and so I declined his invitation and said "next time". Soon afterward he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. That "next time" never came.

I was devastated. I will never forget the regret and guilt I felt at his funeral. I took him for granted. But he was gone. Forever.

My grandpa and I when I was around 6 years old

Fast-forward to 2017, after turning 30 and wondering exactly what I had accomplished, I decided to do something about my unfulfilled promise. I started going around my community photographing and interviewing men and women over the age of 75 years old, listening to their life stories so I could get to know them, connect with them, and celebrate their life achievements and contributions.

I was so inspired and awe-stricken by their stories and experiences, and amazed and humbled to be living in the same neighborhood as these extraordinary people. They have contributed so much to our society and mankind so we could live as comfortably as we do today.

So here, before you scroll down to view the photographs of these amazing people, I shall ask you one question. Let your response to this question, the same question I had asked each subject of this project during their photo session, guide you through these photographs:

If you had one message for the world, what would your message be?