This illustration examines the transition years from teenage to adulthood, a life-stage that the Hanoi-based artist, Manh Hung, is going through. Whilst the younger self represents an innocent look at life in which she wants to be cool and free, the older self shows a more mature yet perhaps more cynical look at life when reality hits and there are lessons to be learned. The central eye symbol alludes to accepting and embracing the different versions of oneself. It’s less about what version one prefers, but rather about the way we choose to see ourselves.
The image projects the feelings of a grown-up in a way that would make the younger self proud, even if the life lived differs from the dreams and aspirations of the younger self. Entering a new phase of maturity, after all, does not necessarily mean letting go of innocence and sense of wonder. Instead of seeing your former self with regret, you should see it as an evolution.