Tree of Life | Visualisation
The crux of the work was based on the concept of the tree of life as a symbol which pervades time, cultures and tradition. This was primarily a research based assignment, with more than half the allocated time being dedicated to research on the tree of life as a symbol and what the tree meant for different cultures.
My approach to the project was to provide a contemporary interpretation of the tree of life through photo manipulation. From my research, I found that the tree was a common thread within humanity. It is a strong representation of the commonalities that run through all cultures old and new, and showcases the interconnectivity that we have within ourselves with the past, present and future. Beyond that, there exists have strong symbolisms in the meaning of the roots and the foliage, and not to forget the trunk.
I fused together the tree as a symbol of fertility through depictions of the pregnant woman, her belly cradled by hands symbolising the woman as the cradle of life. The hands symbolize interconnectivity, and it leads all the way around the circle, symbolising a never ending cycle, a whole and complete connection. However there is a break in the circle. I wanted to explore the discourse in humanity’s failure to realise humanity one-ness. There is always separation, be it between races, religion, culture; there will always be discrimination against people who are different from the majority. I find this discourse unsettling despite having researched and read the commonalities of humanity.
The portraits that I’ve chose are of all different races and ages. I tried to cover as many as I can to symbolize humanity’s diversification and beautiful variations.
The medium that I chose, being black and white photography, was first chosen because photography has always been something close to my heart. Black and white photography removes all distraction of colour, and the subject becomes the ultimate focus of the composition. Photography in itself is the nature of truth, a camera tells no lies and is intimate and immediate. I felt that such a medium was suitable for the process that I was going through while creating this piece.
Below you will find the original piece.
DV3008 – Visual Communication IV
59.4cm x 59.4cm
Hedren Sum Wai Yuan
27 March 2015
29 April 2017
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