Shortly after moving from Ufa, Russia to New York City in 1992, my grandmother tragically died, and my mother was murdered during the 1995 housing privatization. I was able to find their photo albums but didn’t open them until I began working on a new series exploring my childhood. During my research I found photos of family members I never knew anything about: my grandfather wearing a WWII pilot uniform, an uncle who sent the photo from Siberia to my mother, and more. In the ongoing series “Lost Family” I leave parts of my black and white photographs untouched to represent the “present” life. Using color, and without any attempt at photo realism, I use oil paints to show a “fantasy” life. The flowers represent my mother’s name, Rose, and mine, Gulnara, meaning “Bloom of pomegranate”. By creating a collage using my found family and childhood photographs, I connect the present and the past to covey an imagined story.