World of One: Citong

An overheating Johnny in a dark suit, standing next to a door in rural Taiwan, with white suited Johnnys in the reflection behind him.

Citong

2016
Giclée
Image size (HxW): 24” x 52 7/16” inches | Paper Size (HxW): 30” x 58 7/16” | Edition of 5

 

Citong is named after my father’s hometown, a small village in Taiwan’s rural southern countryside. This image was shot at my grandparents’ house. A place remarkably unchanged since I was last there nearly ten years ago. Though this picture is loaded with nostalgia for me personally, I think artistically it comes up a little short. Here are some thoughts on why that is so.

 

Production Notes

From a technical standpoint, these were really difficult shooting conditions.

Firstly, the lighting conditions were pretty tricky. The range between the foreground Johnny, and his background reflections, was big enough that they required separate exposures. I wish I had more space for the white suits in the background. But the portion of the window reflecting what was going on outside, seemed larger in my mind than it appeared in frame.

Secondly, I think the heat and humidity of the tropical climate just slayed me. As soon as I put on the suit, I immediately started sweating through it. In the end I decided to take the easiest way out than explore other options. The results I think, came out as somewhat haphazard. This was a good well intentioned concept, that flopped on the execution. Even the dark suit Johnny is out of focus! His blurriness is probably symbolic of my state of mind at the time.

 

Artist Notes

For personal reasons, I really badly wanted to make a great picture at this location. But I think I’ve learned my lessons for the next time. Don’t go to Taiwan in the summer, go during the winter. Although I will say, shooting Citong definitely prepared me for my Migrant Shores shoot in Hainan the week after. At least that image turned out ok!!!

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