The Inverted Night Sky


Feared for his life, Mikhail fled his home country in Africa due to persecution of albino. It is very thought-provoking to think how whiteness is celebrated in the West, but cursed in Africa. We painted Mikhail’s pale albinistic skin with black ashes and smoke pattern, a symbolism for death. When the images are inverted, he magically transcends into a personification of the night sky radiated with galaxies and constellations. Inversion is a tribute to color negative film. Moreover, it is an embodiment of the multiple visual, symbolic and philosophical dualities in this editorial; a metaphor for the contradicting beauty standards in Africa and the West.


The night sky is rich and multi-layered in symbolism. From astrology to astronomy, human's praise, reverence and intrigue towards its beauty, vastness and mystery have united humanity across all cultures and throughout all history. Despite the deep spiritual connection, we still learned to focus on our difference and segregate each other based on color. Through this portrait series, we want to tell the suffering African albino population how beautiful and precious you are, and we want to plead against segregation based on color.


Subject: Mikhail Ogochi

MUA: Anja Dimitrijevic

The Wanderer


When we think about an urban setting, we immediately think of the term “concrete jungle”. Brutalism architecture, initially prevailed during post-industrial era, is the pinnacle of a “concrete jungle”. They left a permanent mark in the society. Till this day, we can still feel their influence. Soaked in the large concrete panels is the old-school wonder in civil engineering during a time when buildings were designed without the aid of powerful computers. The buildings themselves are heavy, monolithic, and often present a monumental quality.


The wanderer is a fashion tale inspired by what the millennial, me included, nowadays faces: the harsh transition from school to work force, the stress and financial burdens, the desire to be famous on social media, but the suffering from loneliness in the real world. The story sets in the heart of one brutalism building, in which the large concrete panels form a maze-like setting that traps the protagonist, keep him wandering. In a space that once inspired the baby-boomer generation, the younger generation is shadowed, confused and from time to time lost, but eventually we will find our way, and we will find our place.


Published in Promo Magazine


Team

Photographer: William Ye

Model: Pawel Rzeznik

Stylist: Mason Lyle

MUA: Rachel Jones

Transformation


Story 1: An angelic girl, let’s call her Lily is taking care of another girl, Lilith, wounded, wrapped in bandage, but the role reverses as time goes by. Story 2: Lily is pale and angelic. However, as the story unfolds, her skin peels off; it’s hard to say if she is beaten, or just putting on crazy makeup. Eventually she's wrapped in bandage, turning into Lilith. Now, as you may have guessed from the mirrored images, Lily and Lilith are the same person.

In this project, I want to explore our defense mechanism to cope with trauma. The more people I get to know in person, the more I realize everyone is dealing with many problems, but none of us is willing to talk about it. We tend to keep an expression-less face, but deep down a Lilith stays dormant. The injury in the two stories are merely metamorphic to the real negative psychology impacts that the society bombard at us.


The inspiration behind is contemporary ballerina, where I experimented with combining photography and choreography. This project is in collaboration with MUA Emily Fung, and costume designer Sarah Penwarden, modelling Kathryn McIntosh, Selene Lee. Everything selected in this project, including the background, is to give a stage like presence, or even an installation like presence to the images.


Published in Dark Beauty Magazine.


Team
Photographer: William Ye
Model: Kathryn McIntosh, Selene Lee
Stylist: Sarah Penwarden
MUA: Emily Fung
Using Format