Adela Hurtado is a lawyer, photographer, and animator. Born and raised in Miami Beach to Peruvian immigrant parents, she left to study at New York University and Fordham University School of Law, specializing in East Asian Studies and human rights. Adela now manages her legal career, working with public interest NGOs, States, and the United Nations, and her artistic career. As a photographer, Adela first studied the art in Shanghai in 2013. Since then, she has exhibited and done projects in China, New York, and, most recently in the city of Trujillo, Peru, her family’s hometown, with the project, “The Colors of Trujillo.” This latest project is a tribute to the city and its old buildings still standing. As an animator, Adela focuses on traditional 2D animation. She studies animation at the School of Visual Arts, participates in national animation groups, organizes legal workshops for filmmakers, and works on live-action film sets. She released her first animated short, “Circus Toys” in late 2019. In 2020, Adela will attend Peking University in Beijing as a Yenching Scholar to study law and animation. Adela continues to work on her many projects, and she can’t wait to see where she goes next.
For my first photography project, Shikumen of Shanghai, I explored the ruins of early 20th century houses named shikumen, taking photos of personal items left behind by families in haste. When I returned years later, the entire site was gone. My photos were now pieces of evidence of what once existed. That feeling never left me.
The Colors of Trujillo took this feeling to a personal level. The project focuses on my family’s hometown of Trujillo, Peru, its streets, and its colorful old buildings. What started as me taking photos of the buildings, listening to my father tell me their stories, turned into something more. Every year I return, a building disappears or is in worse shape. Every year I return, I take more and more pictures. Now my photos are named after the buildings’ street addresses and I bring out their colors, imagining what they once looked like. These buildings house countless memories and cultural aspects of days gone by and have adopted new identities over time. My hope is that in the future these buildings are not only found in my photos, but are found still standing strong, still making up the colors of Trujillo.