Noel Zhang: Coup De Grace in Belgravia


Photography, Text, Video Interview by Noel Zhang, Copyright 2017



War, like many aspects of society, is refused of normalization. Which, presents good in the way that one should never “normalize” war. But in the true sense of this topic in society, there lacks provision of grand transparency. Society is uncomfortable talking about this, so there it is; forever sitting, hiding, in the background of a fast paced New Yorkers entity, or a harsh impounded Syrian’s life. So for once, here it is, presented on the forefront of decadent photography; of normalization: Coup de Grâce in Belgravia.

March, 1912.
Spring marches into Belgravia,
Like a lion.
They say it will leave like a lamb.
They stay in late on another Sunday morning. A coup de grâce to the long fallen winter.

Its May 1913.
But that seems irrelevant, neither of them care; The time they sit in feels timeless.
He embraces her in the clear blue waters.
She wants to bottle those thirty seconds of her life. A coup de grâce to her heart.

July 1914.
Love is a weird thing,
If you can even call it that.
Love for him.
Love for a country—he fares her well; he greets war. A coup de grâce to her definition of love.

September 1915.
Sent at Godspeed—another inked yellow parchment.
A telegram.
The following nights she drowns in all her tears.
The following week she allows the clear blue water engulf her. A coup de grâce to her; in Belgravia.

I hope in many ways, abstractly or directly; emotionally or physically, this series of eight photographs with the underlying theme of war is able to tell a story of not only happiness, love, sadness and despair, but one that transcends the barricades of society’s refusal of normalization of such prevalent and strong topics.



Portrait of Noel Zheng by Johnathan Tang, Copyright 2017


 About The Author: Noel Zheng is a freshmen enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *