Through my project, Being, I aim to explore the human experience and challenge our notions of otherness through ordinary ideas, thoughts, beliefs, stories, and philosophies of strangers. I visually present diverse voices through the medium of design.

To do this, I passed out anonymous surveys to collect accounts of individuals' experiences. These surveys contained a list of 45 prompts, including questions such as: “What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?” and “How do you deal with anger?” After the surveys were returned, I created an image from each response. The design of the image corresponds with something from the response that I felt defined the character of the respondent. Through presenting these images to the public, I hope that people may discover meaningful connections with total strangers and build a greater sense of empathy. I want people to realize that these stories could very well belong to strangers sitting next to them, or the acquaintances that they see every day but do not know much about. Ultimately we are all human and we have a lot more in common than we think. I believe that by sharing these accounts of the human experience, I can help people become more aware of the connections we inherently hold as humans. Hopefully this understanding will help people find the motivation to treat all others with kindness and respect.

This blog consists of nine images followed by the written responses that served as their inspiration. Passages or phrases that particularly stood out to me are colored light yellow.

Thanks for your interest!

-Masami Chin

Rose Up

1. What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
When I got into LMU, when my house was foreclosed and we had a week to find some place to live.

2. Who was the most important person in your life?
My dad, he’s struggled with money, a job, and his health and he’s easily the funniest, most positive person I know.

5. It’s been said that after they pass away, the most important people in our lives “live within us.” Is there anyone from your past that lives within you?
My grandpa who passed three years ago. I can still hear his voice and laugh when I’m making big decisions.

7. What is your earliest memory?
Christmas when I was four, my sister cried because she didn’t get a puppy.

11. How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone who no matter the struggle, remained positive and smiling.

16. Can you tell me about your first kiss?
Junior year of high school. He was an ass hole.

18. Do you believe in love at first sight?

19. Do you ever think about previous lovers?
Yes a lot.

20. What lessons have you learned from your relationships?
Sometimes two people just aren’t compatible.

21. Can you tell me about your religious/spiritual beliefs? What is your religion?

23. What was the most profound spiritual moment of your life?
When my uncle died, his family and my family were all in the room crying and the minute he died his spirit rose up and it calmed all of us.

24. Do you believe in God?

25. Do you believe in the after-life?

27. What is your ethnic background?