Tag Archives: Despair

Jing Liu: Time Heals

portrait of asian Upenn student

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Posted on March 20, 2015 by Jing Liu

Yang is a friend of mine.  I met him in class in 2014 and my first impression of him was cold and unfriendly.  He seldom talked and he was always by himself.  We didn’t even say hello until we were assigned to the same study group half a year later, and that’s when we started to get familiar with each other.  As we learned more about each other, he started to open his heart and tell me a story hidden deep inside his psyche.

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portrait of asian student Upenn

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Yang grew up in Beijing, and he met his girlfriend Chi when he was 17.  It was his first love.  They were still  high school students then where they used to sneak out of school, drank beers while sitting on Tiananmen Square late at night.  They talked about dreams and the future while lying on the grass in the park.  They forged ID’s to get a hotel room. They went to an Art Museum and stared at one painting of Vincent van Gogh for a whole day without talking.  They did all sorts of crazy things together.  They were classmates, friends, soul mates,  lovers and eventually went to college together.  They were happy for four years.  Yang thought they would get married, because he believed Chi was the one. Unfortunately, something bad happened. Chi passed away suddenly because of a car accident.  It’s very painful for a young boy to accept this fact.  He fell into a deep sorrow, felt lonely, helpless and desperate.

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Beijing is a city full of good and bad memories for him and he couldn’t stay in the city anymore. He decided to go abroad to escape from the painful memories. That is why he came to Upenn, where he hoped a foreign environment and stressful graduate student life would occupy his mind. But the loneliness  even made him worse and he turned to drugs and alcohol.  He lost himself, and didn’t believe he’d have the ability to love anyone else, including himself.

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student lost in drugs and alchol

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He said he’s very thankful for my friendship, because of one unintentional word of mine.  A long time ago when were not so close,  I was talking about a scar on my knee and I said: “time will heal all of your pains.” I smiled and I looked into his eyes.  He realized, yes, maybe time is the cure.

Is time the cure? He doubted, he waited, he struggled, he tried.

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He tried so hard.  He is better now, at least he no longer looks like the lonely and sad boy as before.  He communicates more with others, he goes to parties and he meets more new friends.

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But I can still feel his weakness inside.  He’s like wearing a mask.  Time cures him partially and gives him the ability to camouflage.  There is still a long way to go for time to heal his heart.  I believe the power of time and so does he.

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Photography and Text by Jing Liu,  Copyright 2015

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About the Author: Jing Liu is a graduate student in Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania.

Posted in Blog, Portraiture, UPenn: Photography Students Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I’Mani Sellers: Better Half

portrait of beautiful african american Upenn student

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Posted on March 17, 2015, by I’Mani Sellers

Kass has been seeing Denny for a while now and their relationship is very serious. Kass prides herself in not worrying about what people think about her and not letting that influence her decisions about life. Kass also prides herself in not letting just anyone into her life.  Denny was a very different story.

She has known Denny and she has seen him grow and mature, just as he sees her grow and mature. They spend as much time together as they possibly can. Kass describes him as her better half.  Kass and Denny have planned everything about their future, and they would not let anything change or jeopardize that. At least that is what Kass thought.

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Denny came to Kass one day and told her he had enlisted in the army and was leaving to boot camp in three weeks. Three weeks was all they had left together for a while. It hurt Kass so much, because she believed Denny betrayed her; he had betrayed their dreams. She was angry; she wanted nothing to do with him for a while. She was ready to erase him from her life.

As she counted down the days, she realized she would regret not speaking to him before he left, so she gave him one last goodbye. She sought comfort in her friends at school, but nothing was like the touch of his arms around her as she hugged him. Nothing else could complete her.  She writes him letters, and every time she signs them with, “How can you live without your better half of your heart?”

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young woman looking at picture of her and her boyfriend

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She still sits at home, waits for his return, does her daily routine of going to classes, but she does not feel like she is living. She is still looking for the answer, of how to live without her better half.

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woman looking sad being comforted by friend

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Photography and Text by I’Mani Sellers, Copyright 2015

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About the Author: I’Mani Sellers is a sophomore with a focus on the field of STEM,  College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017.

Posted in Blog, Portraiture, UPenn: Photography Students Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Olga Ignatovets: What’s Cooking?

detail of meat being sliced with l large knife

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Posted on March 11, 2015 by Olga Ignatovets

My hands are not cooperating as I stand there attempting to make dinner for the one who betrayed me. My fingers come close to the edge of the knife and that is when the most brilliant idea comes to mind. I should make him suffer the way he made me suffer. He broke my heart and now it is my turn to take something away from him.

It feels very moist and soft in my hands. The blood from it is all over my hands and my brand new white apron. A feeling of satisfaction comes over me as I thrust my knife deeper and deeper into his organ.

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photo of blood stained apron in contemporary kitchen

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After a few hours of fascinating experimentation with it I decide that it is time to take a break.I am so caught up in my thoughts of revenge that a loud creaking sound at the front door made me jump and drop my glass onto the floor. They were here for me!

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woman dropping wine glass from kitchen table

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My plan had failed and I was discovered. There was nothing I could do now but grab my suit case and make it out of the house without getting caught.

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woman wearing red shoes and blood stained floor

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As I ran out the door, I left everything behind – the kidney, the body, but most importantly my favorite white apron. I would never be able to get it back…

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Photography and Text by Olga Ignatovets, Copyright 2015

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About the Author: Olga Ignatovets is a sophomore in the school of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017.

Posted in Blog, UPenn: Photography Students Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

TWS: Portrait of the Day in Celebration of Black History Month

Portrait of the artist, Mikel Elam. by tony ward

Title: Portrait of Love

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Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2015

Posted in Blog, Portraiture Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |