Saturday, July 4, 2015

WAYNE

"Older than you think! I'm 65," he says of his age behind the cool shades he wears sitting low in his recumbent bike. Wayne Fong, born in Canton, China came to Canada when he was five years old to join his father who was already here. After arriving, and over time, Wayne became the big brother to three sisters.

Three miles from the Trenton airforce base in Ontario, the Fongs ran a Chinese restaurant. In the 1970s, the family moved to Toronto where Wayne went to the University of Toronto for computer science. After graduation, Wayne worked in computer science for General Foods (now part of Kraft/General Foods). 

"Ive been retired many years, and I'm trying to keep in shape," he laughs as he thinks back on the times he was working for a living.

Pictured here, Wayne can often be found cruising in his easy-rider style, recumbent bike. "It's perfect for me because I have problems balancing a two-wheeler, so on a three wheeler, it's perfect," he describes of his GreenSpeed, Australian bike. "It's like a lawn chair on wheels!"

WAYNE FUN FACT: Typical of many, Wayne professes to be a really boring guy. But pressed, he reveals he became a huge airplane fan when he came to Canada in the 1950s on a DC-4 (produced from 1942-1947). Since arriving in Canada, wherever he travels he makes a point of visiting a local hobby shop to check out their airplane models and other models no available in Canada.


PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Friday, July 3, 2015

YUKA & ROCKY

Yuka Kawagoe and friend Rocky eventually find one another along the crowded waterfront this evening in Toronto. Hundreds of people have come to stroll, dine and take in the sights. It is a perfect early summer evening.

A language student, Yuka is from Japan and is just finished her six month English course. Her friend Rocky, born in Toronto, is a chef at a seafood restaurant called Fresh of the Boat, "Just like me! No, I'm just kidding," Rocky say jokingly of the restaurant where he has been working since it opened last October.

When not working as a chef, Rocky sails. "I love sailing. I don't have a licence to sail, I like to find someone with a licence to sail!" In addition, they enjoy fishing and hiking. Rocky is an adventurous person and is obviously very strong and fit - perfect for his backcountry exploring and swimming. He loves Tobermory where he braved the frigid waters and swam through the tunnel into the epically beautiful grotto at Bruce Peninsula National Park in Ontario.

ROCY FUN FACT: With a nod to his adventurous side, Rocky recalls the time he travelled Vietnam alone. "I just like travelling by myself," he says of his exploring the remote villages and rivers of the country. One can communicate with others even if you do not know the language but have an open mind and personality.

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

HELLO & GOODBYE MIKE

A bit of a departure today for the Hello Project... Sorry, I could not help the pun, as today is also the day Mike departs for an exciting life in Vienna with his girlfriend, who will be teaching there. 

Mike Clegg is well known to the Toronto photo community as an affable and helpful guy with a great British accent, his cap and his smile. He was featured earlier in The Hello Project on April 12 where he was photographed with his suitcase in one of the ravines in Toronto. He chose that prop because it added to the visual narrative of who this explorer and traveller is.

Mike also helped out in yesterday's post of Ally Kamino in her gallery in Kensington Market. Mike lay on the floor, just out of the shot and below the window. He was holding the strobe that lit Ally give the look of her being a work of art (which she is) in her own gallery.

Today is Canada Day. But fittingly, and for those old enough to know its prior name, today is Dominion Day which was in reference to the Dominion of Canada and our position as being one of the British colonies. So there is a poignant synergy that Mike Clegg is leaving us on Dominion Day. We look forward to his yearly visit. Bon voyage, Mike and we will all be watching for your images as you travel about Europe. 

To see more of Mike's work, please see his Instagram feed:  @MikeCleggPhoto


PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ALLY

It is rare to find someone born and raised and still living in the city of Toronto. Most people seem to be from other places. Ally Kamino is the exception. Standing in her gallery, she can almost see her family home in the Kensington Market area of Toronto.

Ally's family home was purchased by her grandparents in the mid 1950s and she has lived in this vibrant neighbourhood all her life. Ally is also a grand daughter of World War II Japanese internment camp residents. Both pairs of grand parents were in various internment camps in British Columbia but did not know each other at the time.

The third of three girls, Ally went to school for physical therapy and has been a practitioner since 1984. Always interested in photography and the arts, Ally got her first digital camera three years ago and became seriously interested in shooting after seeing the work on social media platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr and Flickr. She is a partner in this quaint neighbourhood gallery which opened over a year ago. 

Skrim4Rent is a gallery/studio space which hosts painters, sculptors and photographers. It has also been used for artisan pop-up shops. Curated shows and exhibits cycle through the space as well, making it a busy place. The gallery's current show, Capture The Streets, is a photography exhibit featuring the works of six young people recruited by the organization, Jayu, lead by founder Gilad Cohen. Each exhibitor worked with a mentor and teacher and went through an intense two week programme which ended in the current exhibit in this Kensington Market gallery.

ALLY FUN FACT: A professional physical therapist, her colleagues and others rarely see the creative side of Ally's life. Her love of video gaming is being replaced with her creative outlets and photography.



PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Monday, June 29, 2015

IBRAHIM

A long way from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim Shoom sits in the shade and expects to hear any day of his acceptance into a welding programme at Sheridan College.

A quiet, soft spoken man with an intelligent gaze, Ibrahim is philosophical about life, education and work. His goal is to work in metal fabrication and custom metal work.  A theoretical education is one thing, but creating, working with your hands and admiring what one produces is so much more satisfying.

Along with his three sisters and mother, Ibrahim's father moved the family to Canada in 1988 seeking a place to belong and a place where opportunities and a better life was possible. 

IBRAHIM FUN FACT: A fun fact is something that is surprisingly difficult to think of. Ibrahim is no different, "I know the second we stop, I'll have a thousand things I can think of," he says as he ponders a lifetime of events, wanting to select a defining moment! Since this is a blog, I will update it if he thinks of something. This is something that happens. Often, someone will write later with a story or fun anecdote after the fact, and it is added to the post.

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN

Sunday, June 28, 2015

CHITHI & SHANA

Taking some time to enjoy a warm, sunny afternoon in Toronto Chithi Sivayogarajah and his friend, Shana Gerrard relax at Sugar Beach with the hull of a huge ship at a backdrop.

Chithi was born in Palermo, Sicily, Italy before moving to Canada when he was one year old. Chithi is attending Seneca College for their Business Administration programme. Chithi's goal is to work in Human Resources. After Seneca, he is hoping to get a business degree to make himself even more employable. To help put himself through school, Chithi works at Corus Entertainment as a clerk.

Living in Pickering, Ontario, Chithi loves to hop on transit to Toronto and explore some of the cool sites around the city such as where we are right now at Sugar Beach where large pink umbrellas, white beach chairs and course sugary sand offers views of the Toronto Islands and of the ships, a stone's throw away, unloading their cargo of raw sugar.

Shana was born in Pickering, Ontario, just east of the city and like her friend Chithi, is proud of her Sri Lankan roots. Currently Shana is also attending Seneca College and is almost finished their Social Work programme. At this point she is interested in social work around youth and women. Balancing the heavy subject matter of social work, Shana recognizes and embraces the spontaneous and fun side of her open and optimistic personality.

PHOTO: SPENCER WYNN