Identity/ambivalence: The deployment of apple light in considering identity in contemporary portrait photography
Ai, Linda Ho-Yun
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This project considers the ambivalence and dislocation of both cultural and personal belonging in identity, through an investigation of the aesthetics of Apple Light [a contemporary portrait lighting system]. This research initiates from a journey of self-discovery through the uncertainty of self in terms of cultural belonging. It begins by exploring the evolvement of ‘Apple Light’ in relation to traditional Chinese portrait aesthetics. Consideration of the relationships between the subject [portrait] and the background [location] contributes to a rethinking of issues of self-identity, cultural ambivalence and dislocation. The analysed ideas are transformed and embedded in images that allow for personal interpretation by the viewers. This is a practical research project using eight digital images displayed in an exhibition gallery. These images represent a nominal 80% of the final submission. The exhibition is accompanied by a 7000 word exegesis that contextualises and explains key issues surrounding Apple Light, personal belonging and cultural ambivalence.