Artist Statement

Artist Statement Draft 6

I consider myself a photographer using emotions to connect with the world. Through making work, I understand myself and the world better. Common themes are emotions or situations we cannot fully control. Most work is staged conceptual photography which can involve installation and sculpture. Ideas are mainly inspired by experiences that have formed emotional memories. I try to recreate and capture abstract emotions by exploring their connections and interactions with physical objects and the environment, then projecting the meanings onto staged scenes.

Specifically, my work explores interpersonal relationships and desire. I interpret these concepts through photographing a variety of subjects: from objects such as dummies and iron powder to people. My choice of objects is dependent on the information they could carry. For example, I choose iron powder for its flexibility to be shaped into an iris form and its physical property to be attracted by magnets, which delivers a situation of being attracted and damaged. I draw from works of Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer, and Dafna Kaffeman. Al-Kadhi and Falconer’s use of triple exposure in Glamrou inspires me to use blurring to capture the unsettled conscious.[1] Kaffeman’s exploration of our urge to touch things being both beautiful and dangerous in Tactual Stimulation evokes my interest in irresistible desire to get close to the attractive, forms that could hurt me emotionally.[2] For instance, I cannot help myself making contact with someone despite knowing I would get a negative response, which upsets me further by actually taking the action – a cyclical process.

My work is also intended to invite viewers to associate themselves with its topic, relate their stories, and generate their thoughts and feelings. It acts as a link between viewers’ present and past, physical world and psychological world. It does not provide a solution, but only shows the situation or state. For example, I have a series of photographs exploring conscious struggle due to social pressures. This complex psychological activity is usually hidden and easily overlooked. Living in a society in China focusing on rapid economic development, individuals’ emotional expression can be limited, which can lead to mental disconnection to their living environment. By making people aware of the emotions, my work helps to create an outlet that connects the inner and outer world, generating energy that comforts viewers to build a stronger existence in the society by knowing their emotional weakness is shared and understood.

Ideas rather than technical skills are the motivations and core. I always produce a sequential series of photographs in which the changing object tells the key story. To support transformation, I have experimented with various materials, water, fire and magnets. I use digital cameras mainly for their efficient and effective functionality. Temporality and tableau emphasize the concepts behind the photographs instead of simply moments of beauty.

My goal is to address emotions we have difficulty dealing with, in order to help ourselves understand those issues better and create a stronger connection in the society. I feel I have succeeded in terms of emotional meanings, however, I hope to develop more powerful work by learning advanced photography skills including more nuanced lighting, editing and drawing on further conceptual theoretical work, such as Mona Hatoum’s installations and Marc Quinn’s sculptures. I believe further education and more practice are the best ways to achieve development.


[1] Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer, Glamrou (London: Hayward Gallery, 2019).

[2] Dafna Kaffeman, Tactual Stimulation (London: V&A Museum, 2019).

Preparatory Research Notes Draft 2

Figure 1: Dafna Kaffeman 2006. Tactual Stimulation

It is lamp-worked glass filaments on a silicon core from Israel (Tel Aviv) created by Dafna Kaffeman (Figure 1). It is displayed in V&A Museum, given by the American Friends of the V&A. It explores the complex psychology around our urge to touch things that are both beautiful and dangerous, alluring and repulsive.[1]

This seemingly fluffy sea-urchin like sculpture invites me to touch it. It generates an invisible force of sucking, drawing, attracting, absorbing or pulling like tornado or magnets. However, its sharp glass thorns would likely hurt me, which awakens feelings of fear.[2]

This physical aspect that triggers this psychological or behavior conflict evokes my interest in irresistible desire or impulse to get close to the attractive, forms that could hurt me emotionally. I have a big interest in this subject because I suffer from it sometimes and I do not have a solution. It is related to repetition compulsion where unconscious hope may be found when unresolved conflicts continue to generate attempts at solutions which do not really work. Once a genuine solution is found then the compulsion to repeat will usually diminish and eventually stop.[3] Ronald Fairbairn’s general proposition that libido is not primarily pleasure-seeking, but object-seeking approves the existence of repetition compulsion in many ways.[4] In addition to the formation of this desire or behavior, the mental struggle happening in this process can be explained by Sigmund Freud’s concept of the dependent relationships of the ego. The conflict between the libido of id and the severity of the super-ego leads to the anxiety of the ego.[5]

Bibliography

AVIVA-Berlin, ‘Interview with Dafna Kaffeman’, https://www.aviva-berlin.de/aviva/Druck.php?id=1418616[Accessed 4 October 2019]

Casement, Patrick, Further Learning from the Patient: The Analytic Space and Process (London and New York: Routledge, 2014)

Fairbairn, W. R. D., Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality (London: Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2001)

Kaffeman, Dafna, Tactual Stimulation (London: V&A Museum, 2019)


[1] Dafna Kaffeman, Tactual Stimulation (London: V&A Museum, 2019).

[2] â€˜Interview with Dafna Kaffeman’, AVIVA-Berlin https://www.aviva-berlin.de/aviva/Druck.php?id=1418616 [Accessed 4 October 2019]

[3] Patrick Casement, Further Learning from the Patient: The Analytic Space and Process (London and New York: Routledge, 2014).

[4] W. R. D. Fairbairn, Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality (London: Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2001).

[5] Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 2018).

Artist Statement Draft 5

I consider myself a photographer who uses emotions to connect with the world. Through making work, I understand myself and the world better in return. Common themes are emotions or situations we cannot fully control. Most of my work is staged conceptual photography which can involve installation and sculpture. Ideas are mainly inspired by experiences that have formed visual emotional memories. I try to recreate and capture abstract emotions by exploring their connections and interactions with physical objects and the environment, then projecting the meanings onto staged scenes.

Specifically, my work explores interpersonal relationships and desire. I interpret these concepts through photographing a variety of subjects: from objects such as dummies andiron powder to people. My choice of objects is dependent on the information they could carry. For example, I choose iron powder for its flexibility to be shaped into an iris form and its physical property to be attracted by magnets, which delivers a situation of being attracted and damaged at the same time. I draw from the works of Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer, and Dafna Kaffeman. Al-Kadhi and Falconer’s use of triple exposure in Glamrou inspires me to use blurring to capture the unsettled conscious.[1] Kaffeman’s exploration of our urge to touch things both beautiful and dangerous in Tactual Stimulation evokes my interest in irresistible desire to get close to the attractive, forms that could hurt me emotionally.[2] For instance, I cannot help myself making contact with someone despite knowing I would get negative response, which upsets me further by actually taking the action â€“ a cyclical process.

My work is also intended to invite viewers to associate themselves with its topic, relate their stories, and generate their thoughts and feelings. It acts as a link between viewers’ present and past, physical world and psychological world. It does not provide a solution, but only shows the situation or state. Living in a society in China focusing on rapid economic development, individuals’ emotional expression can be limited, which could lead to mental disconnection to their living environment. My work helps to create an emotional outlet that connects the inner and outer world, generating energy that comforts viewers to build a stronger existence in the society by knowing their emotional weakness is shared and addressed.

Ideas rather than technical skills are the motivations and core. I always produce a sequential series of photographs in which the changing object tells the key story. To support transformation, I have experimented with various materials, water, fire and magnets. I use digital cameras mainly for their efficient and effective functionality. Temporality and tableau emphasize the concepts behind the photographs instead of simply moments of beauty.

My goal is to address emotions we have difficulty dealing with, in order to help ourselves understand those issues better and create a stronger connection in the society. Evaluating my work thus far, I feel I have succeeded in terms of emotional meanings. However, I hope to develop more powerful work by learning advanced photography skills including more nuanced lighting, editing and drawing on further conceptual theoretical work, such as Mona Hatoum’s installations and Marc Quinn’s sculptures.


[1] Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer, Glamrou (London: Hayward Gallery, 2019).

[2] Dafna Kaffeman, Tactual Stimulation (London: V&A Museum, 2019).

Artist Statement Draft 4

I consider myself as a photographer who uses emotions to connect with the world. Through making work, I understand myself and the world better in return. Common themes are emotions or situations we cannot fully control. Most of my work is staged conceptual photography which can involve installation. Ideas are mainly inspired by experiences that have formed visual emotional memories. I try to recreate and capture abstract emotions by exploring their connections and interactions with physical objects and the environment, then projecting the meanings onto staged scenes.

Specifically, my work explores interpersonal relationships and desire. I interpret these concepts through photographing various objects, people, dummies, iron powder. My choice of objects is dependent on the information they could carry. For example, I choose iron powder for its flexibility to be shaped into iris and its physical property to be attracted by magnets, which delivers a situation of being attracted and damaged at the same time. I draw from the works of Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer, and Dafna Kaffeman. Al-Kadhi and Falconer’s use of triple exposure in Glamrou inspires me to use blurring to capture the unsettled conscious.[1] Kaffeman’s exploration of our urge to touch things both beautiful and dangerous in Tactual Stimulation evokes my interest in irresistible desire to get close to attractive objects that could hurt me emotionally.[2] For instance, I could not help contacting a person while knowing I would get negative response, which upsets me further by actually taking this action.

My work is also intended to invite viewers to associate themselves with its topic, relate their stories, and generate their thoughts and feelings. It acts as a link between viewers’ present and past, physical world and psychological world. It does not provide a solution, but only shows the situation or state.Living in a society in China focusing on rapid economic development, individuals’ emotional expression can be limited, which could lead to mental disconnection to their living environment. My work helps to create an emotional outlet that connects the inner and outer world, generating energy that comforts viewers to build a stronger existence in the society byknowing their emotional weakness is shared and addressed.

Ideas rather than technical skills are the motivations and core. I always produce a sequential series of photographs in which the changing object tells the key story.

To support transformation, I have experimented with various materials, water, fire and magnets. I use digital cameras mainly for their efficient and effective functionality. Temporality and tableau emphasize the concepts behind the photographs instead of simply moments of beauty.

My goal is to address emotions we have difficulty dealing with, in order to help ourselves understand those issues better and create a stronger connection in the society. Evaluating my work thus far, I feel I have succeeded in terms of emotional meanings. However, I hope to develop more powerful work by learning advanced photography skills including more nuanced lighting, editing and drawing on further conceptual theoretical work, such as Mona Hatoum’s installations and Marc Quinn’s sculptures.


[1] Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer, Glamrou (London: Hayward Gallery, 2019).

[2] Dafna Kaffeman, Tactual Stimulation (London: V&A Museum, 2019).

Artist Statement Draft 3

I consider myself as a photographer who uses emotions to connect with the world. Through making work, I understand myself and the world better in return. Common themes are emotions or situations we cannot fully control. Most of my work is staged conceptual photography which sometimes involves installation. Ideas are mainly inspired by experiences that have formed visual emotional memories. I try to recreate and capture abstract emotions by exploring their connections and interactions with physical objects and the environment, then projecting the meanings on staged scenes.

Specifically, my work explores interpersonal relationships and desire. I interpret these concepts through photographing various objects, people, iron powder, light. My choice of objects is dependent on the information they could carry. I am drawing from the works of Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer, and Dafna Kaffeman. Al-Kadhi and Falconer’s use of triple exposure in Glamrou inspired me of using blur to capture unsettled conscious.[1]Kaffeman’s exploration of our urge to touch things both beautiful and dangerous in Tactual Stimulation reminded me of my interest in irresistible desire to get close to some objects that are attractive but would hurt me emotionally.[2]

My work is also intended to invite viewers to associate themselves with its topic, relate their stories, and generate their thoughts and feelings. It acts as a link between viewers’ present and past, physical world and psychological world. It does not provide a solution, which I do not have, but only shows the situation or state. The overall negative atmosphere and lead of the photographs linger in viewers’ mind and trigger their self-questioning about the direction of what is going to happen for the photographs and also themselves.

Living in a society focusing on rapid economic development, individuals’ emotional expression is limited because some people do not pay proper attention to it, which could leadto mental disconnection to their living environment. My work helps to create an emotional outlet that connects the inner world and the outer world, generating energy that comforts viewers to build a stronger existence in the society.

My work serves ideas instead of technical skills because ideas are the motivations and core. I always produce a series of photographs for each subject with specific order for viewing.

The sequence of change of the objects tells the key story. To support the changes, I have experimented with various materials, water, fire and magnets. I always use digital cameras mainly because of its function of instant viewing, ensuring the best use of temporarily staged scenes, considering the cost of time, space, models or tools. The feature of the temporality and tableau also emphasizes the concepts behind the photographs instead of simply moments of beauty.

My goal is to address emotions we have difficulty dealing with, in order to help ourselves understand those issues better and create a stronger connection in the society. I think I have partially succeeded in terms of selection of photographic elements with emotional meanings they stand for. However, I do not think I have achieved my aim to produce work powerful enough to impact others. My photography skills especially lighting, editing and theories, and my understanding of art can be developed, which benefits my practice to convey ideas efficiently. I believe further education and practice are the best ways to learn what I lack.


[1] Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer, Glamrou (London: Hayward Gallery, 2019).

[2] Dafna Kaffeman, Tactual Stimulation (London: V&A Museum, 2019).

Artist Statement Draft 2

I consider myself as a photographer who uses emotions to connect with the world. Through making work, I understand myself and the world better in return. Common themes are emotions or situations we cannot fully control. Most of my work is staged conceptual photography which sometimes involves installation. Ideas are mainly inspired by experiences that have formed visual emotional memories. I try to recreate and capture abstract emotions by exploring their connections and interactions with physical objects and the environment, then projecting the meanings on staged scenes.

Specifically, my work explores interpersonal relationships, memories and desire. I interpret these concepts through photographing various objects, people, dummy, fire, fridge, iron powder. My choice of objects is depended on the information objects are able to carry or convey in singular or in the interaction in a group. I’m drawing from the works of Bernard Faucon and Amrou Al-Kadhi and Holly Falconer.

My work is also intended to invite viewers to associate themselves with its topic, relate their stories or experiences, and generate their unique thoughts and feelings. It acts as a link between the viewers’ present and past, the physical world and psychological world. It does not provide an end, an answer or a solution, but only shows the situation or state.

Living in a society focusing on rapid economic or material development, individuals’ emotional expression is invisibly limited or prevented because people do not spend time for it or pay proper attention to it, which leads to mental disconnection between individuals and their living environment. My work helps create an emotional outlet that connects the inner world and the outer world, which generates energy that comforts and heals viewers to build a stronger existence in the society.

My work always serves the ideas I try to address instead of technical skills. What I aim to create are narratives rather than simply visual statements. Most of my work focuses on the emotions or psychological activities where we are in a passive position. I see the invisible mental world in physics, in exposures, in colors and in shapes. I always produce a series of photographs on a same scene for each subject with a specific order for viewing.

The sequence of change of the objects tells the key story. To support the changes, I have experimented with various materials, silicon and resin, wood, water and magnets. I always photograph with digital cameras mainly because of its function of instant viewing, which ensures the best use of the temporarily staged scenes in a limited time.

Photography is to me a way of visualizing and sharing problems, confusions and understandings as an individual interacting in the society. My goal with photography is to address emotions or mental activities people have difficulty dealing with and then tend to ignore, in order to help individuals understand themselves better and create a stronger connection in the society.

Artist Statement Draft 1

My work expresses my emotions. It is a way to connect myself to the world. Through making my work, I understand myself and the world better in return. The common themes are emotions or situations that we cannot fully control. Most of my work is staged conceptual photography. Sometimes it involves installation. The ideas are mainly inspired by my experiences that have formed visual memories related with emotions. I try to recreate and capture those abstract emotions through finding their connections with physical objects or environment and their interaction, and then projecting the meanings on staged scenes.

My work explores interpersonal relationships, memories, relationships between people and social environment, and desire. I photograph a range of objects including people, dummy, fire, fridge, iron powder and so on, depending on what information each object or the interaction among the objects is able to carry or convey. I not only get inspiration for practice from other photographs, but also installations, sculptures, movies, jewelries, etc. My work is also intended to invite viewers to associate themselves with its topic, relate their stories or experiences, and generate their unique thoughts and feelings. It acts as a link between the viewers’ present and past, the physical world and psychological world. It does not provide an end, an answer or a solution, but only shows the situations or states.

My work always serves the ideas I try to address instead of technical skills. What I aim to create are narratives rather than simply visual statements. Most of my work focuses on the emotions or psychological activities where we are on a passive position. I see the invisible mental world in physics, in exposures, in colors and in shapes. I always produce a series of photographs on a same scene for each subject with a specific order for viewing. The sequence of the change of the objects tells the key story. To support the changes, I have experimented with various materials and settings. I have made a hollow dummy using silicon and resin, built a space using wood, made use of the buoyancy of water, the power of fire, the effects of long exposure, projection and macro photography, the features of cellophane and magnets. I always photograph with digital cameras mainly because of its function of instant viewing, which ensures the best use of the temporarily staged scenes in a limited time.

Photography is to me my way of communicating with the world, an emotional outlet and personal expression. My goal with photography is to present complicated conscious or unconscious psychology in concrete objects to address my problems, confusions and understandings that are actually shared with a number of human beings, with the hope of achieving peace of mind.

Preparatory Research Notes

Figure 1: Dafna Kaffeman 2006. Tactual Stimulation

It is lamp-worked glass filaments on a silicon core from Israel (Tel Aviv) created by Dafna Kaffeman (Figure 1). It is displayed in V&A Museum, given by the American Friends of the V&A. It explores the complex psychology around our urge to touch things that are both beautiful and dangerous, alluring and repulsive.[1]

This seemingly fluffy sea-urchin like sculpture invites me to touch it. It generates an invisible force of sucking, drawing, attracting, absorbing or pulling like tornado or magnets. However, its sharp glass thorns would likely hurt me, which awakens feelings of fear.[2]

This physical aspect that triggers this psychological or behavior conflict reminds me of irresistible desire or impulse to get close to some objects that are attractive but would hurt me emotionally. I have a big interest in this subject because I suffer from it sometimes and I do not have a solution. It is related to repetition compulsion where unconscious hope may be found when unresolved conflicts continue to generate attempts at solutions which do not really work. Once a genuine solution is found then the compulsion to repeat will usually diminish and eventually stop.[3] Ronald Fairbairn’s general proposition that libido is not primarily pleasure-seeking, but object-seeking approves the existence of repetition compulsion in many ways.[4] In addition to the formation of this desire or behavior, the mental struggle happening in this process can be explained by Sigmund Freud’s concept of the dependent relationships of the ego. The conflict between the libido of id and the severity of the super-ego leads to the anxiety of the ego.[5]

320 without footnotes + Bibliography

Bibliography

AVIVA-Berlin, ‘Interview with Dafna Kaffeman’, https://www.aviva-berlin.de/aviva/Druck.php?id=1418616[Accessed 4 October 2019]

Casement, Patrick, Further Learning from the Patient: The Analytic Space and Process (London and New York: Routledge, 2014)

Fairbairn, W. R. D., Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality (London: Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2001)Kaffeman, Dafna, Tactual Stimulation (London: V&A Museum, 2019)


[1] Dafna Kaffeman, Tactual Stimulation (London: V&A Museum, 2019).

[2] â€˜Interview with Dafna Kaffeman’, AVIVA-Berlin https://www.aviva-berlin.de/aviva/Druck.php?id=1418616 [Accessed 4 October 2019]

[3] Patrick Casement, Further Learning from the Patient: The Analytic Space and Process (London and New York: Routledge, 2014).

[4] W. R. D. Fairbairn, Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality (London: Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2001).

[5] Sigmund Freud, The Ego and the Id (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 2018).