Category Archives: UPenn

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: Photography Students

Alexis Masino: Los Detalles



Photography and Text by Alexis Masino, Copyright 2017




Before this trip, I had never been outside the (continental) United States. Puerto Rico is a territory of the U.S., but it’s an entirely unique place on its own. There are stark differences between my city of residence and this island, but the contrasts lie primarily in the small details. Stepping off the plane, I was immediately overcome by the humidity (having left Philadelphia in the snow, my body was not quite prepared for such a change). The chatter of the people around was in Spanish, as were the signs and advertisements. Since there is a law against Ubers at the airport to protect the jobs of taxis we took a cab to our AirBnB, communicating directions with rough Spanish. When we arrived in Old San Juan it was dark, so there wasn’t much to be seen except the tight alleys and cobblestone roads. Several steep upward staircases later, I was in a beautifully modern yet antique home full of colors and open space.

The next morning, I was surprised by the views brought by the sunlight. From the balcony in the front of the house, I could see all the colors of the surrounding buildings and the bustle of people down on the streets. Never have I experienced a place with so much vibrancy and life, especially from the architecture but also from the people, even on a rainy day. From the back balcony, I could see a vast expanse of homes and shops, as well as one of the famous castles in the distance. There was always a constant chatter and buzz of people, no matter how early or how late at night, as well as a consistent hum of lively spanish music in the distance. I took an interest not only in the people, the architecture, and the buzz of life, but also in the lot of stray dogs and cats across the island.

This first day was spent exploring the city and local restaurants. I took a particular interest in the vendors and the native people. Living and working in a place heavily concentrated with and reliant on tourism, they are versed in interacting with people. A particular vendor noticed me taking a photo on the street and decided to pose with his hand under his chin, unknowingly perfecting the photo with his joke. Another vendor makes an appearance in the right corner of a photo, arms crossed with a serious gaze. In yet another photo, an ice cream vendor scoops sorbet into a cup for my friend.

At Condado Beach, the water is impossibly clear and the sand is warm but not sticky, a perfect place to take in the beauty of it all. My favorite photo here, again, is of a vendor pulling his cart across the length of the shore, tempting the patrons with ice cream. The next day, I hiked the El Yunque rainforest. It was cold and rained constantly (I ended up with the flu) so there are not many photos I particularly enjoy from this adventure. However, there is one inside the tower showing the view from three similar windows which I feel captures my entire experience in its simplicity.

Over the next few days, I visited two castles: Castillo de San Cristobal and Castillo San Felipe Del Morro. Again, I was captivated more by the simplistic details than anything: the colors, the patterns, the symmetry. I visited one on a rainy day and the other on a beautifully sunny day, which made for an even more stark contrast between the two and the ways in which they are portrayed in my photos. As the plane took off to head back to Philadelphia around sunset, the clouds lit up and the moon appeared above the wing of the plane as if to remind me that I was leaving the beautiful sunshine and vibrancy, allowing me to take it all in one last time.


About The Author: Alexis Masino is a freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020.  To access additional articles by Alexis Masino, go here


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

Linda Ruan: Light, Shadow and Mood

Photography and Text by Linda Ruan, Copyright 2017




I have always loved chasing after and playing with light and shadow. In my opinion, when there is light, there is a higher chance to yield a good picture. Thus, I choose to use light and shadow as my theme for this recent series of pictures.

Instead of shooting a series of new photographs for the project, I used and selected most of the photographs that I previously captured but never had a chance to edit and put them together to turn them into a cohesive series.

This series of photographs consists of portraiture and interior space. The majority of the photographs were taken during travel. Yet, since I do not like taking so called “tourist pictures”, it is hard to tell the location of the photos. There are more things to pay attention to besides sightseeing while traveling to a new place. Also, capturing and emphasizing a person’s feature of just the face is not my aim. A silhouette of an unknown person and a contour of a friend’s face and body arouse more interests in me. Rarely do I brighten and focus on a person’s facial detail. I do not want people to see and judge how the people that I photograph actually look; I do not want them to pay attention to superficial beauty because the application of makeup on a face can make one pretty enough in front of a camera. Yet, it would then be a pretension of beauty.

There are various ways to define beauty. My definition is mood. Beauty is mood. I want my work to evoke a sensation, an emotion. Letting people have their own reflections and form their own stories when looking at my photographs is my goal.


About The Author: Linda Ruan is a sophomore with Painting and Art History concentration at Bryn Mawr College.  To access additional articles by Linda Ruan, go here


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

Noel Zheng: Through My Looking Glass

Photography and Text by Noel Zheng, Copyright 2017




New York presents itself as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, with the projections of the high life. But in reality, especially for such a fast-paced, goal-oriented city, the dreams that drove people to this place can easily be pushed to the back in a quick wisp of ‘need to do this, and that’… and before anyone knows it, that one self-deserving person is moulded into another passer-by; one in the other eight million people in this city of all cities.

But New York is really something, because people don’t lose hope. I mean, amongst all the elegant skyscrapers, and street vendors, and honking taxis, and fast-paced people, and get- the-f***-out-of-my-ways, a city so big is bound to have something for someone. But maybe it is just that: that New York can give you exactly what you want, but only when you don’t want it.

Every time I go, New York is a little bit different. This time, it felt nostalgic even though I never grew up there; it seemed dull yet vital; it carried a connotation of melancholy, of a honey-will-you-be-back-for-dinner, of a time that seemed to have just slipped through our fingers before us noticing it was gone.

Through these series of photographs, I capture New York City through my view-finder; through my looking glass; through the perspective that I encouraged myself to see. Although you might not find your New York in this, I see a snippet of my New York; and isn’t that the most powerful thing about this? For every photo to tell a slightly different story for everyone; just like the city I try to tell about.


About The Author: Noel Zheng is a freshmen enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Noel Zheng, go here:


Also posted in Architecture, Art, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, UPenn Photography

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: Photography Students