2023 Booooooom Photo Awards
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A lovely project about family and the confines of masculinity by South Korean photographer KyeongJun Yang. “Men Don’t Cry” focuses on Yang’s own family, specifically Yang’s father and a turning point in his life where he began to cry openly. While enduring a number of life events that would cause anyone to shed a tear — his father passing away and his mother abandoning him when he was six years old — Yang’s father did not start crying until recently. Yang explains his father’s prior stoicism as an attempt to protect himself and others. “When he was a kid,” Yang says, “he held his tears to protect himself from people who despised him just because he was an orphan. After he had a family, he didn’t cry to protect his wife and sons from this harsh world.” And yet, despite or perhaps because of his previous restraint, Yang sees his father’s tears very often now:
“The tears he held slowly rose from his feet to his eyes. And the night he realized that he can’t hold anymore, the tears were already flowing down his cheeks. I asked if I could take a photograph of him when he was crying. Even at this moment, he tries to be a ‘man.’ ‘Yes, but don’t show this to your mom. She will cry.'”
See more images from “Men Don’t Cry” below.