Hsien Ma

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Acupuncturist’s Office, Marina Del Rey. April 2013

Over the years I have sought acupuncture treatment for a variety of ailments. While not a waiting room per se, this chair in the doctor’s office is specifically for a patient to wait in while the doctor is with another patient. The office has a tranquil atmosphere, each treatment always started with a cup of tea, and Dr. Hsien has a very calming and reassuring air. You can see the doctor’s desk in the corner with another chair for the patient to sit in while talking to the doctor. This chair is only for waiting. To the left of the chair is a doorway with a beaded curtain that leads to the treatment area. I was getting treated for hip and back issues. At the time Jake was living at home and we both saw the doctor once or twice a week for many of the same things. Like father, like son. Jake primarily for his back pain and to help with anxiety. In addition to the traditional needles and hot cupping, Dr. Hsien would attach electric wires to the needles for deep muscle stimulation. I had never experienced anything like it before. Overall, his treatments were very effective, we always emerged calmer and more relaxed. While I no longer see Dr. Hsien, he is still there in his small two-room office in the Marina.

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The First Photograph

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UCLA Medical Center, Westwood Village. March 2013

This is the very first photo I took for what would develop into a mild obsession and a multi-year endeavor. I was at the UCLA medical center on Thursday, March 28, 2013, waiting for Jake to finish with a doctor’s appointment, when this chair caught my eye. There was something about the symmetry, the late afternoon light streaming in the window, the angle of the magazine on the table that screamed, “Photograph me!” I had my iPhone  and was exploring the Hipstamatic app I had recently installed. This was in native black and white, as would be all of the succeeding photographs. I didn’t think anything of it when I snapped the picture, had no idea of what it would lead to. I just liked the image. It seemed tranquil in an odd way, like a place in which you wouldn’t mind waiting.