Category Archives: UPenn: Photography Students

Janelle Tong: Hate Has No Home Here



Photography, Text and Video by Janelle Tong, Copyright 2017




Black yellow white brown red blue pink purple

Valedictorian, social entrepreneur, feminist rights activist, gender equality advocate

#theyre #not #sending #their #best #people

Open campus open ears open minds open hearts

Creating a safe haven for discourse and community

#a #total #and #complete #shutdown

Every person has a right to higher education

A right to be heard and learn and speak their minds

#blood #coming #out #of #her #eyes

Sharing the knowledge of research and data-backed facts

Questioning the beliefs yet still respecting the believers

#theyre #bringing #crime #theyre #racists

Using words to stand up against oppression

Using pen to sever through the sword

#id #like #to #punch #him #in #the #face

Equality is something not given but earned

Something not assumed but fought for

#coming #out #of #her #whatever

Double check your sources

Triple check your attitude

#im #building #a #wall

Screaming makes people deaf and close their ears

Silence makes people listen more to your words

#but #you #know #with #the #second #amendment

America was founded by immigrants for immigrants

Protecting the liberties and freedoms for anyone and everyone

#shutdown #of #muslims #entering

One nation under god indivisible

With justice and liberty for all

#building #a #wall


You do not speak for Penn.

Love is love is love

You do not speak for Wharton.

Love is love is love

You do not speak for us.

Love is love is love

Hate has no home here.



Quotation sources: Donald Trump’s twitter feed, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award acceptance


About The Author: Janelle Tong is a Senior enrolled in the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017. To read additional articles by Janelle Tong, go here


Also posted in Art, Blog, Current Events, Environment, News, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, UPenn

Tong Pow: Dance Props

Tong_Pow_Photography_Umbrella_Still_Life_Side_Asian_Dance_Prop copy


Photography, Text and Video by Tong Pow, Copyright 2017




The parasol used by the University of Pennsylvania’s  Pan Asian Dance Troupe in their traditional girls’ dance piece conspicuously, yet with veneration, carries with itself rich, deeply rooted, and controversial Chinese traditions. Though the one photographed for this still life series in reality is merely a prop. It is an anachronistic symbol that serves as the reminder of an ancient wives tale regarding its necessity to protect people from “the elements.”




It also was used by people to showcase wealth and power, as many strove for a “bigger the better” mentality. I guess things haven’t changed that much even since ancient tChina. In considering my photographs for this series, I focused less on the parasols historical intricacies and more on the immediate visual and emotional impact it had on me.




I was drawn by the smooth, homogenous, and innocently pink fabric (with exception of some minimally painted flowers) of the parasol’s outside, supported by an incisive, intricate mechanism underlying the parasol’s most basic practicalities, to open and to close. Light in a dark room illuminates further dimensions of the parasol, as its fabrics create shadows and colors that add interesting layers for the still life series.



About The Author: Tong Pow is a freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2o20.

Also posted in Art, Blog, Photography, Popular Culture, UPenn

Jonathan Tang: Exposure of Emotion

Photography,Video  Interview and Text by Jonathan Tang, Copyright 2017




Happiness, sadness, love, and despair: four emotions innate to the human spirit. Since the beginning of photography, portraits have captured these fleeting emotions to share with others. But early photographs were not still. Their films required lengthy exposures to record the expressions presented to them. To study these emotions, I considered them in the contexts of their emotions.

SADNESS. Deep, contemplative, still. Sadness sits, silently. On mentioning the emotion of sadness, my models instinctively knew what to do. I turned the lights down, dimming them until Greg and Linda’s faces blurred in the darkness, and prepared a long exposure to bring their emotions out from the dark. Both sat still, contemplative, remembering old memories. 

DESPAIR. Anguished, painful, agitated. Despair writhes, heatedly. Despair was a more difficult emotion to work with – we discussed it for some time before settling on an idea. Despair moved and writhed, and could not be captured with a still image. I prepared my exposure, and Greg and Linda moved with it, rendering paintings on film.

LOVE. Warm, caring, slow. Love seeps in, unhurriedly. Love came easily to the pair. It moved quickly, but yet held still. Their love was hot, and emotional; but yet warm, and caring. While I adjusted my camera, Greg and Linda prepared two poses which showed their love. Their warmth approached me, despite me sitting on the opposite side of the room.

HAPPINESS. Energetic, exciting, active. Happiness warms, animatedly. Ironically, happiness was the most difficult emotion to photograph. Greg and Linda had difficulty “being happy,” perhaps because happiness comes in so many forms. While they wriggled to entertain each other, I started shooting, hoping to catch them in action.

When I walked into the studio, I had in mind that I would return with a set of bright, well-lit, dramatic photographs. Little did I know that my results would be anything but. While I fidgeted with the lighting, Greg and Linda bantered and started laughing. The first pictures I took were crisp, sharp, and bright. However, the lighting never fully satisfied me, and while I turned off my lamps, I accidentally plunged the room into darkness. I soon noticed that the room was equipped with a dimmer switch, and that the lights had been dimmed to their lowest settings, not entirely off. I set my camera to take a long exposure, and revealed the concealed orange-red hue of the room. Realizing that I could not obtain this character anywhere else, I started shooting Greg and Linda in motion.



About The Author: Jonathan Tang is senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017. Johnathan plans to enroll in medical school once he graduates.


Also posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Erotica, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn

Ruowen Lu: Waterless






During my childhood there was a beautiful lake by my house. For all the kids growing up in the neighborhood, the lake was like our backyard – a place to play and see friends. About 5 years ago, the city decided to reclaim the lake into land for commercial use. Water was drained and replaced with a luxury shopping district. People got used to the new center quickly, but for me, every time I walked by the mall, I still see the lake I used to play around. With some nostalgia, confusion, and primarily helplessness- Waterless is made.

It was my first time making a video and I didn’t know any filmmaking techniques or rules. I planned out the scenes in my head and just went for them. When I first started shooting, I only had two scenes in mind and came up with the dream scene much later. Initially, the water balloon part was just to contrast the past with the waterless “reality.” However, my film teacher inspired me with the idea of using a war metaphor to create a sense of irony to the dream scene. Likewise, with other spontaneous decisions, I added random elements to the film but luckily the dots all connected at the end and served the overall story well.

Looking back, I am glad this is my first film experience. In a way, ignorance of the filming rules gave me freedom and allowed me to follow my heart.  Now after having more experience, I can’t approach a film without worrying about the structure of the story, character development, etc.  Sometimes, when I am overthinking my work, I think about Waterless and tell myself to relax because the story will come together at the end.



Portrait of Ruowen Lu

About The Author: Ruowen discovered her passion for film last year when she made a video for her acting class. She now studies at the University of Pennsylvania, intending to major in environmental science and cinema studies. She hopes to use her artistic skills to advocate for the environment and helps green organization reach high impact. Ruowen also has a background in theatre and sometimes acts in her own films when she has spontaneous ideas. Even though it is hard to operate the camera while acting, Ruowen finds it fun and a great way to make short experimental films.

Also posted in Art, Environment, Film, Friends of TWS, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Science, UPenn, Women

UPenn: Junior Fine Arts Exhibit


Dress Design by Chi Aguwa


Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017


The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, recently opened the Junior Fine Arts exhibit at Addams Fine Arts Gallery, Addams Hall featuring dress design by Chi Aguwa, Class of 2018. 


To learn more about Chi Aguwa, go here:


Also posted in Announcements, Art, Current Events, Fashion, Glamour, Popular Culture, Student Life, Women