儿童故事 (er tong gu shi):

Katherine


Katherine is one of the photographs out of a 6-piece series made at SVA's Pre-College Photography program. Er Tong Gu Shi is a photo series about my Asian-American upbringing, which incorporates a mix of both portraiture and still-life. From the symbolic colors of the red and yellow decorations, to Katherine's statuesque posing and serious expression, this photograph is all about representing an ancestry of Communist values from a youthful, Western perspective.

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儿童故事:

Yu Hang

Yu Hang is one of the photographs out of a 6-piece series made at SVA's Pre-College Photography program. This is one of the pieces within the series where I aimed to incorporate the subject within the still-life, making them integral to the narrative. The childish and almost cartoonish elements of this photo; from the lighting to the colors are an important aspect within the image, along with the specific props. The intriguing, eccentric subject contrasts with the setting to illustrate my growth as a non-conformist trying to exist in a mainstream society. From the piano book, the VHS, to the "Friends" shirt, this picture is a fabricated, playful glimpse into my very real childhood of being a oddball in a conventional household.

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Reckless

Reckless is a portrait that illustrates this man's relationship with the appeals of lust, substance and the dancefloor. The disco lighting and the subject's intense eyes provides a sense of sinful appeal but the darkness that lies within his enticing expression, dark circles and distressed hair illustrates an uneasy lifestyle. The aesthetics of the photograph express an exciting and fun context but through the undeniable focus put on this man's analytical body language and melancholy eyes, it's clear that the title "Reckless" addresses this man's self-reflection and understanding the negative consequences of his own recklessness.

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Ms. Blizzard

Inspired by the colors and depth that exists within my peers, this image is all about Ms. Sophie Blizzard's unique beauty. Through a neutral expression and virtually no background or context, the focus is entirely put into the nitty-gritty details of her features. From the rich orange hair and the muted lips to the sharp purple pop that draws the viewer into her icy blue eyes; Ms. Blizzard neutral face is nothing but mundane. The harshness of her eyes, nose stud and mascara extend beyond her otherwise soft complexion, providing the viewer with a subconscious understanding of Ms. Blizzard's multi-faceted, fierce but tender, complex nature.

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María Saldaña: The Letter

María Saldaña: The Letter is one piece within a photography/scanography series commemorating my friend María's essence and heritage. María Saldaña is another venture into my experimentation with different mediums and genres, incorporating still-life, portraiture and scanography to create a narrative. Everything from this image is akin to the full narrative; the harsh pink lighting merged with a dark vignette, the softness of her attire to the vividness of the seat and flowers are all important elements that showcase the fluidity of María's nature; which ranges from soft and romantic to overly animated and abstract. Her doll-like features are a consequential aspect to her being, hence her stiff posing. The flowers and letter are literal renditions to María; for the letter is one of her many written exchanges between her and her abuela, and the love for flowers and overall nature is something that exists between the both of them.

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Port Mann 

Port Mann is a portrait illustrating a moment of sentiment from my friend Jojo on Port Mann Bridge at sunset. Through the windswept hair, the searching glance within her expression, and the careful body language, Jojo gives off an enigmatic ambience of both contentment and curiosity. The mix of organic and industrial within the background and the pairing of soft, pastel tones contribute to the varied but harmonious landscape that Jojo finds comfort in.

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King Marvin

Although a typical looking, middle-class, teenage boy, my perspective of Marvin is nothing of the sort. From his confidence to his sophistication, Marvin's true character is miles away from the stereotype set for a young black man in today's society, for he could have lived a past life of royalty. From the subtle metaphorical integration of the Crooks and Castles logo, to his poised, distant expression and wash of the deep red, jewel tone, the intention of the image is one that portrays Marvin in a regal, majestic manner.

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Anta in the Wild

Anta in the Wild is a portrait that demonstrates my appreciation for the agreement of beauty that exists both within the flora and the fauna. The connection of nature within the background and her shirt, the complimentary colors and Anta's calm expression shows her kinship within the plantlife, and provides the viewer with the intention that this is her natural surrounding. The intimacy of the perspective makes it seem as if the viewer has intruded upon her natural terrain.

Anta in the Wild is a portrait that correlates humanity with nature, making Anta; an ordinary girl, one with the environment.

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You Mean So Much to Me: Her Gaze
Her Gaze is one photograph out of the portrait series: You Mean So Much to Me, that illustrates the tender, ongoing yet traditional love that exists between this woman and her boyfriend. The intention within the series was inspired by portraits of domestic relationships in the 1960's but features a relationship between two people of color that weren't commonly represented in this way.
This photograph is all about the female perspective within the relationship, from the supportive body language between their hands to her longing expression, it shows such a devoted passion she feels for her partner that the viewer doesn't need to see both of them to understand their love.

The lighting, studio background and border of the image are an homage to the vintage studio portrait and to imitate the classic portrait prints that once thrived in past generations, for this image is all about a collision of past and present; the customary and the uncommon.

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Girl Unknown

Girl Unknown is a fashion-focused portrait within a series that incorporates architectural elements, portraiture, and fashion photography. In Girl Unknown, an air of mystery is reflected in a blocked facial expression, drawing the focus into the various patterns, tones, and motion that flourish within this photo.

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Ride or Die

Ride or Die is a photograph from a fashion series that incorporates a mixture of style elements ranging from motorcycle elements to skate fashion to create a nostalgic, Larry Clark's "Kids" inspired image. Although the subject's facial expressions are partially obstructed, their edgy attires speak for themselves against a balanced background of both playful color and gritty asphalt. The title "Ride or Die" refers to a classic motorcycle term meant to describe the devotion one has with their significant other through difficult times, which is illustrated through my subjects's powerful stance and linking of hands. From their gleaming blonde locks to matching outfits, these two are inseparable.

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Just a Wig

Just a Wig is an exploration of self-identity and the effects of appearance on one's character. The narrative is within the subject of the photoset, which is not the girl, but the pink wig. The intentions of the pink hair shifts from being a quirky, lively characteristic that contributes to the mischievous representation of a girl to merely a limp, muppet-like object. The switch-up of intentions with the wig is a subtle representation of the way a person's "quirks" are merely materialistic and that changing people's perception of oneself is as easy as removing a wig. Once the girl removes herself from the wig, the true identity of the girl is revealed as a mystery for the viewer, for she separates herself from what we thought she was.

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Cheyenne 

Cheyenne is a conceptual portrait that creates a cinematic view into a girl named Cheyenne. The harsh ray of natural light that frames her face and the darkness that surrounds her is key to imposing drama and accentuating her indifferent expression. Cheyenne's youthful glow, square spectacles, distressed sweater and button up provides context of her identity as a dissatisfied school girl, while the placement of the die, the soda can and subtle pamphlet depicting the words "be smart about sex" provides a subtle insight into Cheyenne's affairs.

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Oona in the Clouds

Oona in the Clouds is an image that represents a common attitude of self-reflection, contemplation and confusion that exists within Oona, myself and countless individuals. The rich textures and folds moving within the fabrics of the background represents "the cloud", a dream-like, subconscious state, in which Oona exists in. Her simple attire and comfortable body language, leads the viewer to wonder about the sharp mirror shard, in which she longingly stares into. The mirror shard and the blocked perspective of her reflection within the mirror is a metaphorical representation of the inability to see one's true direction and to be lost in one's own headspace. The image's rich and otherwise calm elements draw the viewer into a deeper, unsettling glimpse beyond the mirror and into the girl's true anxieties and intentions.

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This I Believe

This I Believe is a photoset inspired by Gordon Park's "Children at Interracial Camp, Havershaw NY, 1943" and addresses my core belief in humanity that exists especially within youth. As a young person within a polarizing and rapid time period, it's easy to lose hope in humanity, but my hope is put into young people, especially the subjects of this image; my younger brother and his friend. This photograph is all about reducing two boys' conversation to the basic components of human interaction; civil exchange and the ability to understand. The choice of black and white is key to minimizing any excess noise that may distract the viewer away from this focus. The negative space that exists within the two subjects illustrates the differences that may exist between the two of them, but the mid-conversation expressions and hand motions represents a strong and empathetic connection between the two.

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