what we are is a photographic exploration of my family’s experiences with being a part of a mixed-race household. This contributes to the question that I will never stop asking myself in both my personal and professional life; what does it mean to me to be biracial? Discussing race and identity is not an easy or quick topic to unravel, and I know that it’s something that I’ll be thinking about for the rest of my life. With this project, I wanted to shift my perspective from solely myself to extend to the rest of my family; not only unfolding my feelings surrounding being apart of a mixed race family, but asking my parents what it feels like having children that have little to no resemblance to them, my siblings how experiencing being biracial during their childhoods in the 90s was different to mine in the early 2000s. This project is meant to capture the love we share for each other, the racism we’ve faced collectively in different contexts, and ultimately the unconventionality that makes us who we are. Through warm-toned images with recurring themes of growth represented through plants, written testaments from my family members, as well as going through archival photographs of my grandparents and elder family members, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of what connects us all through our different experiences within the same family.

Charlotte Lai


Charlotte Lai is an up-and-coming lens-based artist creating out of Toronto. Exploring tender themes of domesticity and familiarity within her photography projects, she juxtaposes these comfort-evoking images with the bold energy of shooting musical artists performing live on stage. Charlotte prioritizes lighting and tonality in her work, building a portfolio that ranges in content, yet still maintains an underlying commonality that ties it all together.