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2021 SPE Annual Conference: Imagining Legacy: Archives, Collections, and Memoria

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Priscilla Briggs

SPE Member since 2005
Member Chapter: Midwest

2015 Caucus Application Portfolio

Fascinated by how economies shape identity, culture, and landscape, I have documented these rapidly shifting aspects of China as that country's economy has grown at a startling rate. These images are from two series, Domestic and Seamless. Domestic explores the beach culture in Xiamen, China. Xiamen's unspectacular seashore is a domestic tourist destination for the growing middle class. The range of opportunity available to the young women in the portraits is unprecedented in China-they face a world completely transformed from that of their parents. A favorite activity of young people at the beach in Xiamen is to take pictures with the ocean as a backdrop, evidence of the lifestyle they enjoy. Seamless addresses issues of truth and fiction in photography as they conflate with consumer fantasy, highlighting the artifice of the Chinese wedding photo studio in which seamless backdrops and props are used to transport engaged couples to international locations of their romantic fantasies. The merging of these two series creates a parallel between the photo studio and the natural backdrop of the ocean, where the middle class has finally arrived.

Untitled #1 (Domestic)

Cruise (Seamless)

Untitled #2 (Domestic)

Isle (Seamless)

Untitled #3 (Domestic)

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