Category Archives: Contemporary Architecture

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Mu Qiao: The Shape of Water

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Photography and Artist Statement by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

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The Shape of Water

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“Water is the source of life”. Water, the basic element of life not only bred and maintained life, but also became the basic environmental factor of human society. The physical and chemical properties of water make it possible to exist in nature in three forms: solid, liquid and gas, and participate in the ecological cycle of nature. Therefore, water is omnipresent. It is as large as a vast ocean, as small as raindrops on glass, and even as invisible in the body of animals and plants. In addition, with the process of industrialization and the continuous development of modern urban civilization, water has more mixed forms, such as drinks and wine, and participates in urban landscapes such as rivers and fountains. Since then, water is not only an element of life, but also a carrier of life.

This portfolio focuses on the impact of water as a natural, environmental, cultural and life factor on human life. And the relationship or interaction between human activities in water bodies. Photographs of natural factors include rain, snow, and other weather scenes in Philadelphia’s city streets. The photos of environmental factors include the landscape of the coastal or riverside cities. Cultural factors include human recreation or fishing in the water. Photos of wine and drinking places are examples of water as a factor of life. The natural landscape is presented with a wider viewing angle, black and white colors and horizontal composition. Objects and activities are expressed in smaller perspectives and prominent colors. I hope that through this series, readers will be aware of the importance of water in our lives, discover the details and beauty of water which we usually neglected.

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About The Author: Mu Qiao is a Graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Mu Qiao, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mu-qiao-the-game-of-sunshine/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Engineering, Environment, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography

Wenjia Guo: View on the Roof

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Photography and Artist Statement by Wenjia Guo, Copyright 2018

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View on the Roof

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As an architecture student, I always treat design as a process of choice. Choose to show the real structure or hide with decorative materials. Choose to display the mechanical equipment or dress up with modernist elements. It is the same with the photographic medium, photographers choose the light, the subject, the environment as well as the attitude. So, this time, I used my pictures to discuss something that architects tried to hide from the public, the roof view. Nowadays, architects value roofs as the fifth façade. They came up with the concept of a green roof tried to turn the roof into a positive element in life and the environment.  However, during  development over time, architects used the parapet wall to prevent people from easily seeing the roof from the ground. I found several roofs to photograph and recorded these views. From an aerial view to observe these buildings, I found them familiar and strange. The equipment on the roof is still in the quiet of day there to complete their functions, do not look forward to my visit, but once I pay more attention, the snow in spring, the narrow skylight, the huge heating all tells their own story. Architecture design for me is a way of expressing my thoughts to the world and  to photograph structures like this provides me with an opportunity to read to the world.

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Portrait of Wenjia Guo by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Wenjia Guo by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

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About The Author: Wenjia Guo is a Graduate student in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Wenjia Guo, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/wenjia-guo-travel-friends/

 

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Mu Qiao: The Game of Sunshine

The wire pole in the sea. Photographed in Key West, the southernmost place of United States.

The wire pole in the sea. Photographed in Key West, the southernmost place of United States.

 

Photography, Text and Video by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

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THE GAME OF SUNSHINE

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I like to travel to places with water and sunshine. Miami, Key West and Cancun are all ideal destinations. For a traveler, the sunshine brings us bright scenery and a good mood. For a photographer, the abundant sunlight allows us to pay more attention to the composition of a picture and the object itself. In the “The Game of Sunshine” series, I tried to apply different perspectives, places, distances and compositions to record the traces of sunlight. In these photos facing the sky, the objects were relatively planar, such as masts, cities and sea levels, but the clouds increased the sense of depth in the picture. Moreover, Water and glass can create excellent effects of light and shadow, and there are distinct differences between spot sources and surface sources. In addition, the interior space with a curved wall can create a soft and smooth light and shade experience. Including sky, sea, building and people, the sunshine is creating its own photography all the time. The interesting and meaningful thing that we can do is to find a special perspective and capture the fleeting moments. 

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I was lying on a boat near Miami beach, watching the mast above, and an airplane was flying through the blue sky.

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Looking up from the bottom of the Aquarium World in Cancun. The sunshine above and a big glass wall create a fantastic light effect.

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The blue glass roof of a commercial street in Miami. Photographed at noon.

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The city of Miami and the yacht bay.

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Photographed at the “New World Center” building in Miami, which is designed by Frank Gehry.

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Photographed in Key Largo beach, an island near Key West. A boy is stretching himself under sunshine.

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A lizard is standing on the historical ruins of Maya Civilization, raising its head and enjoy the sunshine. Photographed in Cancun, Mexico.

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A lizard is standing on the historical ruins of Maya Civilization, raising its head and enjoy the sunshine. Photographed in Cancun, Mexico.

My girlfriend and I were waiting for a dolphin show in an aquarium. She turned her head, looked at the sunset and I took this picture.

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About The Author: Mu Qiao is a Graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Mu Qiao, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mu-qiao-what-is-love/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, Travel, UPenn Photography, Video

Wenjia Guo: Travel Friends

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Photography and Text by Wenjia Guo, Copyright 2018

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TRAVEL FRIENDS

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With increasingly people getting involved in my life, especially after a change to an English environment, I found myself more use for the word friend. Even chat with some strangers they may call you my friend. However, in Chinese environment, we seldom use the word friend, instead we call others the handsome or pretty, feeling that the word friend is kind of old fashioned. Then I asked myself, do I become more tolerant of friend’ s by definition? Do I cherish my new friends at Penn as well as my former friends? Then I find this closeness is more of a social ritual for me, to those real friends I may seldom express my love to.

A recent travel week for me was a huge opportunity to tell if my classmates are my friends. To me, they are much more like comrade-in-arms, study at Penn is a war, you fight with time, you fight with easy life, you fight with tiredness. Study is kind of the only past communication between us, since the studio almost took all of our lives. I know they are hardworking, they are smart, but those are not the most important characters of me as a friend. I want my friends to be kind and honest, which is the ingrained rule I set for myself. So, during the trip to Miami, I paid more attention to people around me than the wonderful beach views. We almost drank and smoked a Huka every day, we shared our stress, our dreams, our love stories and our fears. These people became much more vivid and they really participated in my life. Now I can say, people in my camera world are my friends.

This travel week was so unreal, we spent a week in Miami’s summer while Philadelphia was still covered with snow. We had a party on yacht without any stressful academic pressure. I may forget that week and feel like it was a dream, but I will always remember my friends.

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About The Author: Wenjia Guo is a Graduate student in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Wenjia Guo, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/wenjia-guo-mini-fab-lab/

 

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