Category Archives: Documentary

Anisha Arora: The Wonders of Spring

 

Photography and Text by Anisha Arora, Copyright 2018

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The Wonders of Spring

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Having lived in India and Africa, I always took sun for granted. Living in Philadelphia for 1.5 years and witnessing the brutal winter of 2017-18 has made me realize how much I love the spring and summer seasons. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. So, after months and months of waiting, when spring finally arrived, I realized I wanted to capture it in all it’s glory.

This was also a great opportunity to experiment with a macro lens, that I had never used before. Using a macro lens and having a fixed focal length made me realize the importance of finding the right angles. I have tried to capture the different colors of spring, the flowers, the leaves and even a brave squirrel.

These photographs, for me, are also a reminder of not taking things for granted. The colors, the flowers, the sun only last for a few months, and so do many other important things in life that we often take for granted. In fact, photographing for this project made me aware of how much happiness nature brings to my life. In the age of technology, with our eyes glued to electronics, this is something I want to hold on to.

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About The Author: Anisha Arora is enrolled in the Graduate program, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Anisha Arora, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/anisha-arora-south-africa-the-land-of-contradictions/

 

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Women

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, Contemporary Architecture, Current Events, Engineering, Environment, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography

Grant Wei: Napalm Skies

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Photography and Artist Statement by Grant Wei, Copyright 2018

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Napalm Skies

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I have always found the concept of being from Philadelphia to be interesting.

Because, in actuality, I grew up in the suburbs. I don’t know Philadelphia as well as I probably should, given the fact that I spent virtually my entire existence within the confines of the Schuylkill River. And since I have left the suburbs for college in the city, what I have glorified to be a real Philadelphian experience, I still wonder my experiences genuinely constitute a person living in Philadelphia.

Because, since coming to Penn, I have only come to understand how out of touch I am with the living conditions of those who inhabit the same city as me. It’s not that I am exposed to more individuals whose income brackets don’t fall into the top one percent of income — Penn has gentrified the surrounding area with disturbing efficiency — it’s just that my education has made me more discontent with not understanding the world around me.

All the same, I question whether there even exists a conception of Philadelphia. After all, we all have our own individual experiences regarding living in Philadelphia. My experience transitioning from the suburbs to the city is different than that someone who has lived in Fishtown all their lives, which is different someone who has lived around Rittenhouse Square all their lives, and so on. And that doesn’t mean that any of our experiences are less authentic.

I think, out of all the valuable lessons I have learned in college, that the most important aspect of developing an understanding of the world is to develop a sense of empathy for others. I may never understand the realities of living in one of the poorer areas of Philadelphia, but I can try without letting my presumptions get ahead of me. Because, in the end, I never thought of knowledge as journey with an end; because, the moment I stop questioning myself is the moment I stop learning.

But, despite the differences in experience (and my futile attempts of writing without othering people), there are many aspects of life that we all share. Particularly, when we all finish work or school or whatever, we would look into the same napalm sky to see the same orange hue permeating every corning of our sight. It’s a sign that one day is done, and despite whatever hardships we might encounter, that we could redeem ourselves in the next day, and the next, and the next.

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Portrait of Grant Wei by Eileen Ko, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Grant Wei by Eileen Ko, Copyright 2018

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About The Author: Grant Wei is a Sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Grant Wei, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/grant-wei-blinking-through-memories/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel

Frank “Fangyi” Fan: The Art of Styling

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Photography and Artist Statement by Frank “Fangyi” Fan, Copyright 2018

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The Art of Styling

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I have always been a person who cares too little about my outfit. I follow the principle of dressing up neatly, but I don’t have much interest in being fashionable or stylistic in my clothings. Why do I stay simple? Probably because I am just lazy. It is only after I met Rongrong that I realized styling could be a form of Art. Rongrong has already made this art part of her life, and her passion in styling sort of inspires me to seek the beauty behind everything in my life. Therefore, I used this individual assignment to showcase her artistic work in styling.

The 24 pictures are separated into 2 parts. The first part, which consists of 16 pictures taken at the studio, exhibits some of Rongrong’s boldest stylings including kimono with fishnet stockings, baggy jumpsuit, and sleeveless top with cargo pants. I must admit that Rongrong has been the most versatile person in styling as she stays comfortable and confident no matter what clothes she puts on. The second part has 8 pictures taken outside the studio, around the world. Rongrong brought her art of styling to every corner she traveled to, from Milan to Rio, New York to Philadelphia. I had the honor to capture her styling artwork throughout this assignment. For me, the enjoyment not only comes from her exquisite styling, but also comes from the lesson she taught me: to seize the beauty around us.

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Portrait of Frank "Fangyi" Fan by Rongrong Liu, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Frank “Fangyi” Fan by Rongrong Liu, Copyright 2018

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About The Author: Fangyi “Frank” Fan is a Senior enrolled in the School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Fangyi “Frank” Fan, click here:http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/fangyi-frank-fan-colors-of-bottles/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Advertising, Art, Current Events, Fashion, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women

Rongrong Liu: Me

 

Photography and Artist Statement by Rongrong Liu, Copyright 2018

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ME

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I woke up in the morning, looking into the mirror. That was a face I am so familiar with for 22 years, but how well do I actually know it? For most of the time, our face faces others. I didn’t realize how much I have changed when comparing the photos taken this year with the ones taken in my freshman year. I am just too used to it to recognize any everyday change. Then how about me, as a person? How much have I deviated from the me two years ago?

My photography experience started from my interest in fashion. I wanted to use this individual project to push me back to where I started, and use myself as the subject to let me re-examine and look into myself. I enjoy the paradoxical freedom and constraint of self-studio. During the photoshoots, there was no one else there, so I was completely free. I can control the camera. I can control the setting. I can control my facial expressions and my styling. However, the vacant viewpoint controlled me. I was not instructed, therefore I didn’t know how the photos would turn out to be. This makes self-studio harder than the regular photoshoot, but I enjoyed the unplanned surprises it brought and revealed the true me in front of the camera.

I didn’t plan for a specific theme in fashion to shoot, instead, I put together everything I love. There are some standard aesthetic stylings and self portraits – it is a regular me. There are some beauty photos, the starry night and the sakura (cherry blossom makeup), the ideas of which have jammed in my mind for a long time, but I wasn’t bold enough to wear those makeups outside. And there are ironic high-street fake design collaborations – it is a me to explore. The co-branding collaboration in high-street fashion becomes a way for brands to earn incredible profits through successful marketing. The supreme shirt is 50 dollars originally, but after its collaboration with Louis Vuitton, the t-shirt was sold at 395 dollars and more. What about this Colgate and Louis Vuitton collaboration, whose brand logo is so similar to Supreme? I guess via some systematic brand marketing, it could achieve the same. Other than that, there are some other collaborations like Joshua Sanders’ symbolic smiley face versus Acne Studios’ emoji, and the most recent rainbow burberry pattern in trend versus bandage. All these ideas popped up in my mind and I used the camera to record them visually. It is like my brainstorming diary.

This individual project on myself is not completed yet and it won’t be completed because I will continue doing it on my way to further self-exploration.

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Portrait of Rongrong Liu by  Lilibeth Montero, Copyright 2018

Portrait of Rongrong Liu by Lilibeth Montero, Copyright 2018

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About The Author: Rongrong Liu is a Junior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2019. To access additional articles by Rongrong Liu, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/rongrong-liu-a-colorful-favela/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Advertising, Art, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Models, Popular Culture, Portraiture, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women