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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Ray Im

SPE Member since 2015
Member Chapter: South Central

Emotions in New York City

When I moved from California to New York in 2009, I found
myself encountering many unacquainted circumstanced. With such an unfamiliar
life style and culture, I felt my life becoming shrinking to a small cardboard box
that’s left alone in a huge factory. Though many New Yorkers took a pride in
living in the famous city, in my perspective, everyone was trying to survive by
fitting into their tightly enclosed space. When I re-visited New York City in 2015, I
challenged myself to express such oppressed and suffocating emotions of its
people. The clay that I used is made up of various types and sizes of minerals
and it is meant to represent the diversity of people in New York City. The flat and
rectangular shape describes the man-made structure of the city. I captured each
individual emerged in their own thoughts in black and white color on water slide
films, to fix their emotions in time. As I placed each film, I purposely created
wrinkles and folds then, placed it onto the rough side of the clay slab in order to
emphasize their irregular and turbulent emotions underneath their calm
appearance. Glaze that can see through the film conceals the blight side of the
city and mingles with emotions on images. Final product shows the
entrapment of each person’s emotions in time and space.

Emotions in New York City #1

Emotions in New York City #2

Emotions in New York City #3

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