Artists give a truly important service to society. As a photographer, I see myself as a storytellers and I strive to create characters that are emotionally true and diverse. I believe that life is nothing without creativity since creativity equals individuality. Without art, life would be like a working machine with all matching parts but no excitement.
I started to learn about photography from my father in middle school. I didn’t know anything about equipment at the beginning. At that time, I had six or seven years of painting experience. My dad asked me to practice basic composition and camera vision from the perspective of drawing. It was not until I entered college that I started to play with my camera more. (I was not professional enough at the time, I only dare to say that I was “playing” photography).
All kinds of media have their interesting characteristics. For more than a year, I have become obsessed with Polaroid. It was because of the reprints of the comics I liked at that time, and the 636 model camera jointly produced by the comic artist and Polaroid between 1994 and 1998 also took advantage of the wave of nostalgia. Based on the fan mentality, I collected the first Polaroid camera in my life.
From simple shooting, I began to try small experiments such as film shifting (Emulsion Lift), water decay, or stitching to make the image more interesting. Then in order to get more accurate shooting, I bought another SLR670S. This is the second time in my life that I have bought a camera by myself. I think I like Polaroid so much is because I get a sense of autonomy while stay true to myself.
There several directions in photography that I wish to pursue during my MFA journey. The first direction is to look at how the world is led by human leaders with thinking skills from the perspective of social science and philosophy. This theme can be divided into documentary photography, which is biased towards the form of recording. Or, in the theme of abstract art photography, which integrates concepts. The second direction is the human pursuit of divinity and mythology from ancient times to the present. Religion, art, music and literature. Are these things traces/illusions left in the pursuit? In terms of improving my photography skills, I want to focus on different types of negatives and techniques. In addition to simply shooting, what kind of effects can the combination of negatives and different substances bring?
My first real creative contact in photography started in junior year, when I made the first photo book on the theme of My Own Home. It is a book about “switching from the role of the observer to the observer, and showing my vision of it in a house” work. Through this creative experience, I learned that photography is not only about pressing the shutter, but also about the cooperation between the concepts of a team in the early stage and the preparation of the two parties, and the mutual cooperation shown when it really enters the shooting stage. This experience gave me a preliminary understanding of the basic process of carrying out a photography project and laid the foundation for my understanding of photography activities in the future.
For my graduation project, titled An Overlook of, literally means overlooking, overlooking people, overlooking art and photography. The project work is divided into three parts. The humanism emphasized by the Italian Renaissance in the 14th and 17th centuries brought a revolution in thought and culture. The Italian etymology of the word Renaissance is composed of “ri-, renew” and “nascere, birth”, although People-oriented, Western murals or paintings often show stories about Greek gods or the Bible. In the Bible, Genesis also means “the origin of all things; the birth”:… On the sixth day the Lord created Adam and his wife Eve in his own image, and placed them in the Garden of Eden to be ruled by their descendants. The whole earth…, the structure of the whole work and its first theme, Fall from Grace, began when human beings came to Paradise on earth.
The second theme is about Within. After birth, there will be self-awareness and boundaries, learning and adaptation, consistency and conflict with the outside world, and temporary compromise after the conflict. An acrylic three-dimensional space, transparent, with people inside. Acrylic space is an individual, a boundary and a transparent wall with oneself, other creatures, and the entire society. At the same time, it presents a sense of contradiction between existence and non-existence, which can be seen inside and outside but not real. Give the performer different situations based on his own experience, and then take a series of photos of the performer’s facial or physical reactions due to limitations (all depends on the current performer’s feelings). The technique uses black and white negatives and instant development. Consciousness is one-sided. The person in the transparent box (representing ourselves) may not see the outside world what he thinks, and what the outside world sees may not always be true, so what he obtains is one-sided information and images; at the same time. The characteristics of shadows can also show that people’s reactions to the surroundings or events are timely and instantaneous. Use black and white negatives to capture the continuity of the performer’s movements and the fluidity of the conscious and subconscious.
The original concept of theme three is inspired by the poem of the fourth movement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Urlicht” (Primal Light), which in my work I described the cause of a balance, how the creator finds balance among the many ways of presentation, how to find balance in the modern trend of quickness, and then brings to the human nature and emotions, and finally, how to distinguish and choose when people receive a large amount of external information.
I tried to combine different media and forms of expression, hoping that the image will not only directly show the scene or story depicted in the copy, but could transform from the concept without being too frail or dull. I also tried to use different shooting techniques and equipment for the three themes to create a connection between them and see that there are three different parts. The main problem encountered during the process was that I had to quickly switch the ideas between rationality and sensibility. This project allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and get to know more people in different fields of the art world (such as curators and portrait photographers). The exchanges and collisions of ideas are fun and interesting. A rewarding thing! I also have more exploration and understanding of different aspects and artistic fields because of this graduation project.
After receiving my MFA degree in Photography, I hope to accumulate works and basic experience by shooting magazine pages, and to enhance my horizons by shooting brand advertisements. Later, I also want to try to shoot art or documentary works that are dominated by my own thoughts. Documentary works are a way of presenting things around them and environmental issues, which arouses human reflection. The divergence of the media has brought people into extensive exposure to modified topics, leading to a decline in thinking ability, and gradually degrading the instinct to explore the world. Therefore, I hope to reflect the quality of society through documentary methods and to arouse human introspection to a certain extent. The documentary is the basis of artistic reflection, and through the existence of documentary, people can reflect and improve, so as to realize the inclusiveness and modification ability of art. Art is beautiful, but it is not only beautiful, it is more layered; it is a deeper beauty or ugliness that is packaged with beauty. Ultimately, I want to bring the people of Taiwan closer to the field of art. In other words, I actually hope that everyone can get closer to art. Art is not regarded as an add-on that can only be admired from afar or used occasionally to relax the body and mind.
Paragraph 1: As a young Taiwanese artist, I aim to create works of art that embody and explore my identity. “Pulling away, yet sometimes feel split personality” is a common critique I receive about my work. In fact, when it comes to my own creative style or creative mode, I often feel awkward. I don’t want to be stereotyped. At the same time, when I make my work, I don’t expect other people to experience the object the way I did. I knew they’d look at my work and hang their own associations on it, which is true for artwork in general, I think. That’s just the way the human brain works. Art is a mirror, reflecting the creator’s experience and the angle and attitude of seeing things at the time. Art is very direct, close to people’s hearts, and will always change. The things I have absorbed along the way are also a mirror, and they are all presented by me, which is what makes me different from others.
I strongly believe that the MFA program at SAIC is the best place for me to pursue the infinite possibilities that lie within the blossoming field because of SAIC’s multifaceted approach to the medium includes traditional forms of image making and conceptually oriented practices which makes the SAIC Photography program uniquely diverse. As a student in the Photography department, I look forward to exploring the practice and theory of photography, practicing my art in a supportive, nonhierarchical community among faculty and graduate students, working with state-of-the-art equipment and enjoying access to all the resources of the school at SAIC. But more importantly, I am eager to delve into the making, presentation and interpretation of photographic images, exploring photography as both a language and a craft, and ultimately, through the solid training at SAIC, I will learn how to use cultural signifiers, symbols and metaphors in the content and structure of image making.
I believe your MFA program encourages free exploration of creativity by involving students in your thriving artistic community along with a staff of instructors who’s purpose and pleasure is to inspire, inform, and direct students toward their artistic goals. I believe SAIC is about students. I am fairly sure that my pursuit of the MFA in photography at SAIC is as much about building a practical future as it is about further cultivating my passion for what I love.
Great photography requires discipline, passion, and creativity. I believe I have all these three qualities to be a photographer. I hope that you will support me by welcoming me in as a valued member of the artistic community at SAIC. I cannot do this alone so help to guide my path, give me the training and tools to build my strength as an artist so that I can become successful in this ever-changing set of technical, conceptual and aesthetic conditions that exist within a broad social and cultural context in the world of modern photography.