Rongrong Liu: Emotional Fluidity

Rongrong Liu_Sequential Portrait_Schema_Emotional Fluidity_Love_Despair_Rage_Long Expsure_Clone
Photo: Rongrong Liu


Photography and Text by Rongrong Liu, Copyright 2018




The first acquaintance with the word “schema” was in my psychology class. Referring to a pattern of thoughts that people use to categorize information, schema is like a tree. When thinking of emotion, our thoughts branch out to pleasure, anger, sorrow and joy. Then for joy it goes to love; for anger, it goes to rage; for sorrow, it goes to despair. All these pieces of emotions and expressions are collaged in this schema like puzzles.

Our mood is fluid. Happiness and melancholy present not in pure black and white, but they are constantly changing according to internal and external factors. Therefore, every one of these emotional puzzles are conjoined, from one stage to another. Several clones here are to make the clips sequential so that the 35 pieces of puzzles are not segmented. They together tell a story about a moody person. This is also the reason that I chose to use the long exposure technique here, just to intentionally blur out some of the facial expressions and create the “grey” emotional area. 

One interesting thing I notice about the human face is that eyes and mouth tells people’s feelings, however, eyes or mouth separately may express different emotions. One can be really happy and smiling, but his or her eyes don’t seem to be. What you see in one clip of the schema does not necessarily imply what you expect to see in the other clip. Same is our state of mind, and I guess that is the magic of schema.


Portrait of Rongrong Liu by Lilibeth Montero


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 here


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