As a photographer, I like to manipulate my camera’s technology in order to convey various emotions and sensations; my photographs become my emotive tool. In this series, my aim was to give the viewer a visceral sense of paranoia and confusion and rhythm.
As photographers, portrait photography is not foreign to us. Some of us even take it on a daily bases, trying to capture the best form of the subject, creating an eye-catching image. When I take portraits, my goal is to bring out the characteristic of the subject. But in industries such as Hollywood, portrait photography is used for promotional purposes. They tend to package the subject, having us portray these figures in a certain way. The power of portraitures is inevitable. I have learned to always question what I see
Identity, video games, participatory etc are all video genres in the internet age. And comparing to the traditional genre’s like western, musicals and sitcoms, the video’s we have access to now are often more direct, diverse and contemporary. And I believe as filmmakers, we accommodate around these elements and change our purpose of filming as well. In our fast paste “swipe & go” age we tend to focus more on capturing peoples attention. Creating whats more entertaining than what’s more valuable. And I feel disappointed about that, especially when I tend to easily lose patience to what’s more valuable to what’s more entertaining.
Photography to me has always been seen as around the art genre. And knowing that the first motion-camera is invented due to scientific research interests me. Back in 1877, motion-picture cameras were invented to study human and animal movement. Edward Muybridge toke this series of photographs learning that when humans run, two feet come off the ground. Same with the horse galloping, four feet are off the ground. Learning that made me realize how much science is playing around in photography. Leading lines, color contrast, composition etc. All playing around with our mind, trying to capture the most attracting and effective image.
Our idea for the video project is to film the livelihood in NYC’s Chinatown. By filming from the perspective of a Chinese child growing up in NYC, shows the comprehension of two identities. In this film project, we brought in our memories of growing up in a Chinese community. Expressing our longing for home in a foreign Country. The technique we chose for this project are stop-motion and time-lapse. Through stop-motion, the intermittent texture represents our memories from our childhood. For example, making wonton with our parents. And through time-lapse, we decided to film the whole view of China town merging with the NYC skylines. Representing the merging of the two identities in one city.
Who: People around China Town
What: the cities livelihood, exploration of a Chinese child running around China town, exploring his culture and identity.
Where: China town
When: from Friday to Sunday
How: taping a camera to the hips, recording alternative sounds
Materials: Have reserved a shotgun pro kit with windshield and a zoom H6 Kit, cameras ( Nikon, Canon, Sony), lenses ( 15-75mm, 100mm, 35mm) Tripod, Tape.
Sound: instrumental Chinese music, alternative sounds, example: Bao
Role: using a hand-held camera shooting live views, acting as the child’s parent, Annie’s taping the camera to her hips, mimicking the perspective of a child.
Last days of the Kuomintang by Cartier Bresson takes a photo of the “Gold Rush” in Shanghai. Were a group of Chinese men and women are packed together in front of the bank panicking to recover their gold before the beginning of the communist era. This photograph struck me. Having my grandparents be one of the citizens that escaped from the beginning of the communist era to Hong Kong, seeing an image from that time prompted me to imagine the situation that my grandparents went through. Besides that, I really enjoy the expression of peoples faces. Some of them looked shocked towards the camera and some just looked as if it’s their day to day lives.
Outside Presbyterian Church by Cartier Bresson takes a photo of three elderly women coming out from a church looking furiously away. Cartier Bresson toke the photo from below, giving the subject a sense of power. One thing I really enjoyed is the composition of the photo. With the top of the church being placed on the center top of the photo, our eyes are led from the three women to the top point of the church. Up to age women from a church, is often portrayed as kind and resentful. But through Cartier’s lens, he created irony, defeating the stereotypical imagery on women. A very strong a powerful image.
This photo by Cartier Bresson is a photograph of a woman, standing against a wall with a newspaper seller pushing its stall. With my first glance at the photo, it told me a different story- A women of color hiding behind the wall from a detective looking through the stalls. Cartier toke this photo in the decisive moment, if the newspaper man had not lunged lower or if the women had not looked over to the side, it wouldn’t tell as an effective story. I really enjoyed the narration of the photo. It looks so realistic that had me be fearful for the women.
For this project “ the Flaneur” My object is a disposable water bottle. Nowadays having these water bottles be so accessible, buying water becomes common. And often times when we purchase we are emotionless. Having something so crucial in our day to day lives we forget that these water bottles are made from plastic. By the time you dispose these bottles, it just becomes another piece of plastic. To emphasize that, I used cling wrap. By wrapping plastic on plastic, narrating our usage on these water bottles through cling wrap.The photos are presented in a series. And each series conveys different emotions and message. The first series is an introduction. An introduction to how we portray these water bottles, how emotionless we are in terms of using plastic. For the second series, I used more of a dynamic approach. By crushing and zooming into the water bottle, increasing the contrast and lowering the exposure, trying to convey fear and discomfort to the audience. The last photo represents reality. How we are polluting our planet, contaminating our ocean and killing animals. But in the end, it all comes back to us. By killing our planet we are slowly killing ourselves as well.
Aida Mulueh is an Ethiopian documentary photographer, In one of her series “ the world is 9” she created 28 pieces of work revolving around an expression “ The world is 9, it is never complete and its never perfect” Each of Aida Muluneh’s image is an exploration of questions about life, love, and history. One of my favorite photograph of her’s – “ The Morning Bride” resonated and captured my attention the most. Her color usage and composition in this photo emphasis her theme. First of all, the title “ The Morning Bride” resembles perfection. The white veil covering her blue face is soon to be uncovered, meaning she’s soon to be married. The bride’s blue face resembles sadness and weakness. Contrasting with the red and black background, representing power and oppression. I believe the background represents society. Society’s expectation on us to be perfect, putting a white vail on us, covering our faces, hiding our emotions. The composition of the bride, her body facing off to the side gives me a feeling of force. It’s shown as if her body’s forced to face the side with her hands on her lap, but her face looking towards us, with weakness in her eyes seeking for help. Often times in society, there’s this invisible definition of perfection on women. To be innocent, to be pure and best off to be a virgin. As clean as a white sheet of paper, I’m considered as contaminated. Therefore I resonate with the bride, the bride being covered with the white vail, seeking for acceptance.
Adrian piper is an American conceptual artist, in this piece, “ Decide who you are” He created an image- text college printed on paper with silkscreened texts. The subject of this piece is a childhood snapshot of Anita Hill. An American attorney and university professor of social policy, law and women studies. The college is painted with red text. Get of thoughts inside one’s mind. Struggling with self- blame, self-jarred and anger. Adrian’s choice of red colored text brings out the theme of chaos and violence inside one’s mind. The placement of Anita Hill, being in the centre of the college, looking up with text going over her face gives us a sense of uncontrollable, as if the thoughts were a jail cell where she cant escape. However, the smiling face of young Anita Hill resembles Irony. With her head tilting up looking hopeful towards the future, she’s but only looking at a wall, a wall full of thoughts without conclusion.
Carmen Winant is an American writer and a visual artist. During the exhibition, she showcased one of her art piece – My Birth. My Birth consists of 2000 photographs. Photographs from books, pamphlets, and magazines of women giving birth. Carmen collects these images, by putting them all together, she attempts to create this bodily experience, asserting us views, not to have a single way of reading a narrative into the project. Walking through the hallway with the 2000 photographs by my side, I was overwhelmed. Immediately, it reminded me of the bestiality inside us. How we’re no different than animals. Questioning my sense of being and existence over and over again. 2000 photographs big and small, all over each corner of the wall, I was disturbed. Disturbed by the unfamiliar nature but also disturbed by how distant I felt. I believe just like wedding photography, images of giving birth could be seen as glamorous as well. Is our human nature, why don’t we embrace it.
My choice of subject comes from my immediate attraction to the aura given off by those photographed. It seemed as though each subject was comfortable with themselves until they were approached by me and my camera. In an attempt to have my subject present the most of themselves, I started a conversation. By initiating an intimate conversation about themselves, I was able to take the qualities I had learned to my advantage and produced a photo in captured the aura I initially saw. Each photo encaptures the moment each subject felt confident by who they were through my interest in them. This activity taught me how to convey my perspective of a person through my photographs.