Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2017

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art

Degree Type

Thesis

Abstract

This thesis examines how my practice addresses the subjective and metaphysical nature of the photographic and cinematic medium. Neither the assumed objectivity of a camera lens nor the objective reality suggested by the photograph exists. However, for me, the camera perceives the world by itself, subordinated to the photographer’s subjective interpretation. Along with my photographic/cinematic practice, this thesis examines how the camera perceives the world on its own way and how the audience member’s ultimate perception is formed not only by his or her personal experiences, but also by the camera and the photographer’s perceptions. Using a non-representational method, my work encourages the audience to take time to peel off layers upon layers of images/stories and to enter into the world of meditation. The layered still images or moving images represent an implication of past, presence and future.

Language

English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Thesis Advisor

Monika Weiss

Committee Member

Heather Bennett

Committee Member

Jamie Adams

Committee Member

Cheryl Wassenaar

Committee Member

Jessica Baran

Artist's Statement

My work investigates the nature of light and depicts abstracted forms, objects, and memory related to Eastern culture, its underlying philosophy and ideology that I am rooted in. The subject matter in my work ranges from specific traditional objects from Eastern culture, such as origami, to light and space which occur everywhere. “The camera sees with its own eyes, it sees things the human eye does not detect.”[1] Based on the camera— the medium contains an authorized objective perspective, my work interacts with nature, in a way of either formally involving natural elements into the frames, or producing breathing organism, geometric patterns which were derived from nature. Within my creative practice, I depict the representational objects in an abstract way and try to enter a place where representation and abstraction might just be the same thing for a while.

The conservatism in Asian culture has deeply influenced and I was taught to hide my emotion or express it in a self-digestion way. Abstraction allows me to make works interact indirectly with viewers. It is not representational; it needs time to recognize and understand. You need to look closely and find a clue, which creates a delay between seeing the image and understanding what it was of[2]. Though which, I not only transfer the world I see to the photographic surface or screen, but I also visualize my inner feeling, my emotion and my sorrow into my work.


  1. Douglas Sirk, Sirk on Sirk (London: Faber and Faber, 1997), 99.
  2. Rosalind Krauss, “Photography and Abstraction,” in A Debate on Abstraction 1998, (New York: Leubsdorf Art Gallery, Hunter College,1998), 66.

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