Author Archives: Kuo Photo

About Kuo Photo

Linda Kuo is a documentary photographer whose work centers on social-environmental issues, with a focus on the impact humankind has upon nature and the animal kingdom. It is the animal that solicits Kuo's projects, and most strongly connects her to the underlying sensibilities of her work. Linda feels that animals and nature are endowed with resilient mechanisms for survival, and posses the ability to continually adapt and yield to changing circumstances. However, their innate and intelligent systems of proficiency, are continually being stressed under the actions of humankind. With simplicity and openness, she hopes to create imagery that provokes consideration towards the preservation and responsible stewardship of our environment, and the sentient beings that inhabit our world. Linda has been nominated for PDN's 30: Emerging Photographers to Watch, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, The London Sunday Times Magazine, Slate, and Photograph. Linda's photography has been exhibited at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, The Center for Fine Art Photography, and the Biennial of Fine Art & Documentary Photography in Barcelona among other national and international exhibitions. In addition to photography, Linda is a certified yoga instructor specializing in rehabilitation and injury, passionate about the violin, and interested in Asian culture. Linda lives in New York with her family and continues to work on her long term projects.

May The 4th Be With You

My Star Wars day post a day late as I realize it’s now Cinco de Mayo, but Star Wars is timeless, therefore this day cannot go unrecognized. In 1977, my dad took us all to go see Star Wars on opening night. I had heard nothing about the movie, and wasn’t that interested in a Sci fi flick so I had no expectations to be entertained. However, the minute the golden words “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” scrolled up onto the screen and dissipated into the universe, I was transfixed.

During the making of Star Wars, the technology to execute certain scenes did not yet exist. There were many challenges and hurdles to overcome. But through his persistence, strong belief and conviction to his story, the technology manifested, and George Lucas’s vision came to fruition in one of the greatest movies ever made. Despite the sophisticated advances in technology that have followed, the original episode produced with all its limitations and setbacks, still stands alone.

What makes Star Wars so timeless? Pure intention. Triumph of good over evil, strength in the face of adversity, allegiance to the betterment of the tribe, the community, and to society as a whole. Envisioning a positive outcome with faith, patience, and adherence to a doctrine of values and priorities that serves all of humanity. The enemy can only be overcome with a unified Rebel Alliance. If there is no unity, no collective consciousness, there is little chance of victory. I present you with my beloved Wookie Apso. And like Chewbacca, loyal. A warrior, and bonafide sissy.

Day in Day Out

It’s been 2 years since I lost my beloved dogs Tusker and Ernie, and recently I have been perusing the Petfinder website in consideration of increasing the responsibility in my life, and giving a dog a forever home. However, as soon I reach out to inquire about a potential candidate, the dog has quickly become as “unavailable” as a 12 pack double roll of Scott’s toilet paper. Since COVID19, pet fosters and adoptions have increased exponentially and as this news is an uplifting and positive trend for shelters around the country, it’s also because people are wanting to fill the void of isolation. The cautionary tale is, that once life as we knew it slowly comes back into focus, these recently acquired pets will be faced with a new paradigm of an owner whose schedule is not one of being present with them the majority of the time.

One thing we must learn, is that many opportunities are present in this pandemic. Opportunity to contemplate something not previously considered before. What is it like, to experience life in captivity? To experience scarcity, and reduced variety and selection on a day to day basis, an ongoing basis, with no end in site? What I hope it has done, is shed some light on the experiences of animals in captivity. For animals used in entertainment, confined feeding operations, the travel entertainment industry. Their every day existence is one of being removed from their natural habitat, and from the necessary social interactions with their comrades and community, all to become a salve for our own sense of disconnection. COVID19 has put a spotlight on our priorities, our blessings, and what is fundamental for our emotional well being. We were not meant to live in a box devoid of physical social interaction with others and our environment, and it’s taking it’s toll.

From our shelter in place experience, we can now understand the despondency, depression, isolation, and altered behaviors that develop from the lack of the most fundamental needs of all sentient beings. True connection.

Foster. Connect.

With reflection, comes connection. If there is a choice between alignment and distance, go for alignment. When nature is stressed, she resets.

“The Circumstance of Pomp”

In the animal kingdom, various forms of pageantry are used when animals endeavor to attract a mate. In their world, showing brightly colored plumage or demonstrating a specific skill set, has significance to a potential partner as it may indicate status such as optimum health and vigor, or skills in finding food or shelter.

But what about when humankind creates pageants for our entertainment that imposes our standards of beauty upon the animal kingdom? What is their experience and understanding of this ordinance? This project is a look behind the scenes at “The Circumstance of Pomp.”

grooming a standard poodle backstage at the WKC

Many Loves

Today is Valentine’s Day, and all about love and since 2020 is off to a rough beginning for the world, I thought I’d focus on the things I love to capture. Creativity comes in all forms, and though my true love is documentary projects with a special interest in social environmental issues, it’s the culmination of the fondness I have for other genres, that informs my work. Portraiture, editorial, children, nature and the animal kingdom. As our world strives to become more inclusive, #parasite #oscars #bestpicture and the lines are becoming increasingly blurred #nonbinary it’s becoming more and more evident, that a lack of transparency isn’t something that serves us. #politics #coronavirus and so I’m inclined this year, to showcase more of my inner truth.

A few select artists that inspire me with their unique brilliance, are far reaching and multi-faceted, and also not within my industry. Their genius comes in many forms. @hangfenghavefun @eddieleida @mquanstudio. Life is art.

Professor J-F Levy

Backstage between dance performances

African Gray with tiny e-collar

Adolescent Herring gull from the project “Displaced.”

“Giving Grace”

Factoids: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon from Maine. Has human eyes and a human heart.
AKA: Tobes, Magobs
Idiosyncrasies: Swims every chance he gets. Always the first one in, last one out. He’s known to use the ladder getting in and out of the pool. Will come running from afar if he hears an apple being cut.
Favorite Snack: Frozen broccoli. Loves all foods save almonds and dates.

The Power of Imperfection

But who cares? You don’t see the power and the poetry of not being perfect?” – Peter Lindbergh

Peter Lindbergh, a great master and one of my favorite photographers, has died at 74. Peter Lindbergh was unrivaled in his ability to get to the raw material, and embraced perceived flaws revealing them as beautifully honest. There is something relatable and tangible about his portraits. The angst, struggle, vulnerability, and acceptance that he delivers in an unapologetic way. He instills a sense of courage and integrity, that can only be seen with the truth.

Everest and Snakey

Everest and her corn snake Snakey

Everest and her younger brother Gunner, couldn’t come up with a name so Snakey became the default. Gunner has the impression that Snakey belongs to him, but Everest says  he is misinformed and making false claims, and that Snakey belongs to her.  Often when people see this portrait, their reaction is to recoil, preferring to look at more palatable pet portraits I have of domestics. #dogs. I find perception fascinating, as everything is about perception. When I witness people flinching at Everest and Snakey, I am taken aback, as I find their relationship beautiful. During the shoot, there was trust, and a clear bond between the two; several frames with them nose to nose, communicating a mutual admiration. This was not something I expected from a cold-blooded reptile, and it was fascinating and touching to witness how Everest handled Snakey with such reverence. Our reactions to things is based upon our biased classifications, and this gives me reason to pause. I too, have been enlightened through meeting Everest’s pet rats Rufus and Banks, which allowed me to overcome my own prejudices and “tail fears” about rats. Now I realize, how awesome rats are as pets.