Report
Before the beginning of the December, my mother already decided to visit me in London and travel in UK that the country she has long been yearning. Consider it will be the first time of her to go abroad, by herself, my job of these two weeks will definitely based on her happy journey. About the photo story of this assignment, I planned to go to Paris for 5 days and take photos of the refugees. However, after thinking and discussing the situation with Ed, we both agree it is not possible to proceed the Paris one. Hence, the theme became ‘My First-abroad-mom'. Before get start on shooting, there are few things confirmed. First of all, the dates and duration of her in the United Kingdom, which contains the Christmas. Secondly, the places to go, such as the landmarks in London and Manchester. The third is that the timings I might photograph. Timings are the following points, the first time my mother saw me at Heathrow airport and the time when she ready to leave; the moment that interaction happens between us; some unilateral action of her (for example, taking pictures, cooking, etc.); I am giving (or instructing) certain actions on her; when she have some relationship with the environment; and the time I think I have to press the shutter. In the shooting process, according to roughly comb out of ideas, I basically completed the shooting of all the circumstances. Interestingly, my mother like taking selfie, she got a little gift before she arrived—a selfie stick, which surprisingly influenced my works. Not only the selfies, my mother also keen on shooting. So among all the photos, there is a large amount of them were taken when she was holding selfie stick or cell phone. Hence, there are four photos that I choose to combine as a set, and named this set as ‘Anonymous mom in London’. I stood a certain distance from her, adjusted the composition, until the cell phone covering her face, then I pressed the shutter. When the recognizable characteristics on my mom’s face was blocked by the cell phone, in my view, she was doing a thing that probably any visitors (or anyone) would do, meanwhile, I was shooting probably anyone when he/she was doing a thing. I chose to use this way to anonymized my mom, which is an attempt to remove the label of 'mother'. This method can be proceed on any one whether it is the first time to travel abroad or not. Anybody who hold the selfie stick is ‘desire to photograph 'on themselves, and this desire comes from whoever as a tourist want to prove that he/she had been there. Taking selfie pictures with landmarks will make my mom satisfied, and the satisfied comes from the ‘likes’ of her posts on social networks. Moreover, it is a way of confirming that she has been to the place where she dreamed of. The approach of this anonymize, the purpose is to eliminate identity. When she (or anyone) is watching the photographs, she can not absolutely sure that the people who in the photo is herself (or themselves), it could reducing her (or their) satisfaction. However, this process can not established until the people watched. When I editing the photo afterwards, I found that the most photos I have shot were the times she proceeding some unilateral action. Although I gave some instructions on her, most of times I performed like a bystander. This is very relevant to my shooting manner, I would like to be an observer-like photographer. Sadly, I never take her as a formal subject before. This is also a chance that I can make up for her. After all, I did not spend much time with my parents, in the future may be also like this. However, the appearance of people will change because of time, the glory will also dim. For the first time,I want to keep their looks of present by my camera. In the future, I will try to put more attention on the relationship between my parents and me, as a blood relationship, the interaction between us is really not enough. Not only that, I sensed the ‘desire to be photographed’ from my mom. I am in a neutral position when being photographed. She is staging and adjusting her expression and action all the time. At that time, she is just like the one she thinks she is, the one she wants others to think she is, but not the one I would make use of to exhibit my art.

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