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Photo Essays

Daniel 1948

Daniel: OK, OK. I’m a bit of a mad man. But I do my solid modeling of a car frame in soda straws.Denise: Daniel is right, he is a mad man. He is so in his element here. – san jose, california – Feb, 2012

These photos tell a story about our lives. Even though the children and grandchildren are not in them, they and others in our family are in photos and object in the background of this pictures. Our house is such an important character in our lives. For years we dreamed of having a house. When we rented we always talked about the things we would do, always including walls we would tear down! Our house has been Daniel’s canvas. He has done all the remodeling, built lots of the furniture, created the garden, build me beautiful things and given me my wonderful nest.

This has been, in some ways the most difficult period of our lives. So much going on. Daniel’s cancer, the accident, my mother moving in. But through it all we have not forgotten that we are blessed. I am reminded of it every time I lift my eyes and see something beautiful that Daniel has created. Our joke is that he is an “artist in residence”, our residence!

Life is rich, and messy and complicated. I think beauty is an important reminder that there is always something to come back to. It has accompanied us through all that has happened these last few months. As I write this Daniel and the dog are asleep in our bed, that Daniel built. I look up to see pictures of fathers, grandmothers, sisters, children, and grandchildren and listen for the sounds of my mother sleeping in the other room.
By Daniel’s wife, Denise

Daniel: There are little ideas in each frame that make them worth keeping. Denise: The first moment I noticed I was in love with Daniel was seeing this look of pure concentrate. I have never known anyone who puts themselves more into their work.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Daniel: …even if they are taking over my electronics shop. Denise: He delights in his madness.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Denise: Daniel loves spending time in his basement. It is his domain.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Daniel: The seven-foot ceilings in my wood and metal shop, allow me to hang lots of stuff from the ceiling. Denise: Daniel is a wonderful blend of craftsperson, mad scientist, and philosopher. I love this picture of him, it is so Daniel.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Daniel: Proof positive that there isn’t enough room to put a little dinette area in the kitchen…kidding. 8?) Denise: Daniel and I collaborated on almost all of the design aspects of the house, but it has been his genius and hard work that has made it happen. One of the few fights we got into in the remodel was my wanting this dinette, that he was against. But here it is. And all Pliskin. Three legged table, lamp (still a work in progress), wonderful pass through where the cat and the grandchildren love to sit.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Daniel: I got the idea to open up the built-in, so that light would get through between the living room to the kitchen. The next day I was up there with a skill saw, slicing and dicing. And I’m still glad I did it. Denise: The picture to the left of Daniel was done by our foster-son’s mother when she was just getting off of heroin. She was clean for over 15 years before descending into the abyss again. You can see it in her sad eyes.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Denise: I look so serious here, and a little sad. Perhaps just pensive. The background is filled with our lives. A sculpture Daniel’s mother did of him, a painting by our granddaughter, photos of and by Daniel’s father on the shelf. Both of Daniel’s parents were artist. His father was a famous advertising exec, one of the Mad Men.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Denise: Our Dining room was inspired by a wonderful hotel in Manhattan that has a large open lobby that is a cafe and a library. I wanted to paint the wall black but Daniel vetoed that. So much has happened in this room. Wonderful meals, great conversations, the grandkids toys are in there, so much life.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Daniel: It strikes me as odd that I really haven’t changed all that much over the last 55 years. Denise: I love this picture of Daniel with himself as a child. He is still very boyish!- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Daniel: Yow, If I can just keep my mouth shut, I just might get some tonight. Denise: Daniel’s sarcasm (note HIS comment), is what I love least about him. What I love most is how brilliant and creative he is. But also how big his heart is. He hides it behind his sarcasm.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
Daniel: Again, Dan working on a motorized “windmill”. Denise: There is so much in this photo. I didn’t expect to be so moved. That same wonder that was there when he was young has sustained him. There is also my covering Daniel’s hands with mine. When he lost his fingers I was, in some ways, more devastated than he. I had felt, irrationally, that I should have been able to protect him from harm. Somehow I think that is my job, to keep my family safe. I failed.- san jose, california – Feb, 2012
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Haoyu Feng

Feng Haoyu, born in Guangzhou China, based in California USA. Education: 2004 San Francisco State University, 2000 Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, 1996 The… More »

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