Justin J Wee shot these images for a New York Times editorial by Corina Knoll. The piece recounted the tragic experience of GuiYing Ma and her husband Zhanxin Gao, who relocated to Queens, New York, from their home in Fushin, in northeastern China. The pair, both aged 56, hoped to earn enough money to support their son and grandchildren at home. Four years after their move, Ma was attacked by a stranger in the street and spent ten weeks in a coma before dying.
Wee’s photos recount the aftermath, showing Gao eating alone, smoking in his kitchen and hard at work, as well as documenting the objects Ma left behind and moments from her funeral. His photos speak to the bond between the pair and, poignantly, of Gao’s subsequent loneliness.