Junior Conceptual: A Junior Conceptual Project by Hannah Pang (2016)
Click to read Artist Statement
My poem ''autumn flames'' inspired my photo, especially the lines ,''They spiral around the sounds I can not hear I only hear the voice, fire I turn to look the other way''. In ''Ear on Fire'' by Dana Schutz a man is appearing to light his ear on fire but has a solemn face whilst doing so. To symbolize this feeling of self destruction my poem personifies fire as a person who won’t stop telling the man what to do. His own need to obey whatever is being told to him controls his mind completely as he looks numb while lighting his ear into flames. Much like society telling him to change and conform to a way of life or hurt himself. This influenced the creation of my photo which is called ''Cut & Shined''. This is because the progression of coal to diamonds is a change in perspective, much like the man.
The diamond inside of the glass jar represents how beauty is viewed in society as a one cookie-cutter form. The glass jar alters the image behind it because it symbolizes society and how society distorts reality. The dark waters show how the environment that society created is dark and difficult to escape. The aluminum foil that the jar is on top of is reflecting the image, just like how this ideal beauty standard is reflected onto youth. Similar to the man, the youth blindly follows the current and allows the power of society to control their minds. But again, it is distorted because this is a false idea of beauty. Finally, the coal on fire shows the purest form of beauty since coal is the pure form of diamond before compression. It is set on fire because beauty is being destroyed by the conformity and the fire represents resentment towards society. I had trouble with getting different shots because I allowed the fire to burn too long before i started shooting and only had a small amount of time to get the picture. Thankfully, it was in focus but it would’ve been beneficial if I had a wider variation of photos.