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Mung Seng Ng, a senior studying art came across the world to study photography, contrary to the traditional path of his family.
Ng’s name-tag for his job on campus says 10-10, which is the nickname that he goes by.
10-10 first studied engineering, but after holding a camera for the first time, he fell in love.
“I love to find those details in life that I like to capture,” Ng said.
Seng Ng was studying engineering at Utah Valley University when his parents told him they would be sending him to BYU-Idaho to encourage him to attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regularly.
After some time as an engineering major at BYU-I, 10-10 knew it was not his the path.
“I only could get C’s and everything else was a failing grade,” 10-10 said. “I was like, gosh, I study a lot but it is just not clicking. I didn’t want to study engineering anymore but my parents wanted me to. So I told my parents, ‘Let me have a break and let me figure out what I want to study.'”
10-10 said his bishop noticed he loved photography and invited him to come along on a family vacation to Lake Powell to take photos.
At the end, he loved the night photos.
“It was crazy, I was holding the camera in the water trying to get the perfect shot of a rock,” he said.
The bishop wrote 10-10’s parents an email encouraging them to let him pursue photography.
His dad got the email, and his mother asked him to translate it.
10-10 said his bishop sent the following: “I know that Asian cultures don’t consider art degrees seriously, but he is into this and he might find joy in his life. It might bring him back to church because he can see the Lord’s hands in his life.”
10-10 said his parents were reluctant, but they ultimately let him make the choice to change his major from engineering to art with an emphasis in photography.
“When I first started, I was sleepless,” 10-10 said. ” I could not fall asleep, and even when I was sleeping my brain just kept shooting in the dream.”
His parents are still wary of his decision, but 10-10 said he has never been happier.
“My mom definitely still doesn’t like what program I am going through,” 10-10 said. “My mom just worries that I can earn my own income and have my family, ya know.”
He feels as though he has something to prove to his parents; this passion can be a financial success.
“One thing that pushes me so hard is that I need to prove my mom wrong,” 10-10 said. “Obviously I know that both of them want me to go back to Hong Kong and help them with their business.”
10-10 knows that whether he is in the United States or goes back to Hong Kong, opportunities are available if he creates a professional portfolio.
“If I have the best quality, I might get away with having a shorter portfolio and less experience,” he said.
10-10 had images featured on the cover of an Idaho Falls community magazine and hopes to work more with fashion in the future.