Category Archives: Popular Culture

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, Documentary, Environment, Photography, 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, Documentary, Fashion, Glamour, Models, Photography, 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, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Models, Portraiture, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women

TWS Feature: Carrie M. Street Fashion New York

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Carrie M. Street Photography NYC, Copyright 2018

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Photography by Carrie M. Copyright 2018

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Text by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2018

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Taking Her Shot: Through the Lens of Carrie M.

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Snap!

 

She sees it. In her mind’s eye, before the setting is set and subject is set in motion. New designers, new faces; she’s shaking it up while going through the paces.

 

Snap!

 

The scenario starts to take shape, as her watercolor of wonder begins to crystallize to reality. Models in motion, having that gliding gaze across the lens’ view, as she takes her shot.

 

Snap!

 

Colors bold and that certain look of captivation in the subject’s eyes, takes the viewer on a journey of Carrie M.’s vision. Like a fly on the wall, a moment of private thought is conveyed from model to photographer. We catch a glimpse of the magic, but not the secret of Carrie M’s method.

 

Snap!

 

Hip-hop, couture, and every kind of style signature in between; she knows her stuff so sleek and tame. ‘Take my picture’ some might say. But, Carrie M’s maneuvers have a different kind of sway.

 

Snap!

 

On target, she is with dancers and athletes all in her camera’s midst. Faces, places of the sun and moon, are the backdrop she scopes out to get her shot. Life’s a beach and Carrie M. goes with the flow. When she grabs the camera and shoots, what’s ordinary gets blown away. 

 

Snap! Crackle! Pop!

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Carrie M’s passionate quest of her craft will never stop. Her line is cast in sizzling clarity, as the Brooklyn Bridge is in her sight. At the end of a shoot, for Carrie M. is resolute – Have Camera Will Travel!

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Carrie M. Photographer NYC.

 

 

ABOUT CARRIE M.: Carrie M. is a New York based, professional freelance photographer. Always on the lookout for new challenges and adventures for her vocation, Carrie M. holds a fresh outlook for fashion, faces, and atmospherics that will make your toes tap and senses snap to a funky beat and sly wink. Contact her @carriemphotography on Instagram.

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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, visit this pagehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/h-scott-follow-ruble-road/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Blog, Cameras, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Models, News, Photography, Portraiture, Women

Artist Highlight: Vibe Rouvet – Voice of an Angel

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Vibe Rouvet: Music Conservatory of Pau

 

 

Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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Voice of an Angel

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Vibe Rouvet is the daughter of TWS contributing illustrator Alexandra Rouvet Duvernoy of France.  A stunning resemblance to her mother with talent that runs deep in the family, Ms. Rouvet is an opera student at the Music Conservatory of Pau, France. On the video she sings “Volta la Terrea” from Verdi (extract from the opera: Un ballo in Masquera).  Here singing teacher is Marie Claire Delay. This summer she will be taking a master class in Mozarteum of Salzburg in Austria.

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Portrait of Vibe Rouvet 2018

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For access to the artist, Alexandra Rouvet Douvernoy’s contributions to Tony Ward Studio,  Click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/store/alexandra-rouvet-duvernoy-trumpisms/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Announcements, Art, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Friends of TWS, Music, News, Portraiture, Student Life, Video, Women