For Project 4, “The Unsocial Life,” the challenge was: The unsocial life: capture your solitude in a series of photos. Take pride in the time you spend being with yourself and share it.
“Creating a World Within Myself” by Jacquelyn Wong
For me, time spent outside of work and away from other engagements with others is seen as time for cultivation, rest, and individual well-being. Making the trip up to San Francisco is something I love to do on the weekends; the opportunity to wander the streets, people-watch, and take in the city’s energy is both mentally and physically stimulating. Unlike other cities, SF has a unique, quirky aesthetic, which is what I tried to capture through the tinted lens. With each visit, I arrive with an open mind and leave with an invigorated, creative spirit. Like my experiences in SF, I tend to soak in the energy and mood of my varous environments; because of this, I enjoy making my life as clutter-free and simple as possible. The sheer act of transforming disorganized, messy clothes into clean, neat, and ready-to-wear-again outfits is methodical, but in the end, refreshing. Similarly, taking care of my succulents and reminding myself of other living things in the world is gratifying. In a life in which the majority of my week is spent looking at my computer or participating in meetings, focusing on simpler, more manual activities is oftentimes even more meaningful and humbling.
To see more from Jacquelyn, click here.
Jessica: I am thoroughly intrigued by your project. I confess I can’t make much sense out of it, but that is precisely what I like about it. I found myself asking a lot of questions. I love that I can get a sense of who you are just by the clothes that I see in your first image. I also enjoy the swirl effect you used. It gives me the impression that I am watching your clothes spin in a laundry machine. But why are they being spun after they have been folded? Why is the street green? It certainly gives a fantastical air about the image. Since it is the only image taken outside, I wondered if it was supposed to imply that you are not yourself, or that you feel disoriented somewhat when you step outside of your comfort zone. The third image I find extremely endearing. As a whole I found your project very endearing because of the little details. In the first image it was the sock thrown on top of your spinning laundry, and in the third it was your little nose.
Amanda: It’s always so refreshing to see the personal touches of an artist’s life in a project, and it makes me really happy to see you explore what rest means to you. To me, the first and third photographs fit well together – the focus on the “mundane” but in a way that’s not simply a boring every day task. The swirl of the laundry and the obstructed self portrait both add in a unique element to those activities. In my opinion, the second photo isn’t as successful in connecting with those two – a different colored tint or perhaps a different street might have helped it to convey the message you wanted to get across. (Random aside: In the spirit of pushing each other further, I think it would actually be really interesting for all of us to forego a prompt next time to see whether our work communicates what we want it to without an artist statement – I definitely struggle with that a lot!)
Beatrice: I love how your photos give viewers a glimpse into your life. I think your photos are simple and fun! I really do love the self portrait of you and your succulents (succulents are my favorite). It’s such a cute way to showcase your involvement in your plants. I also agree with Mary in that your photos could be more cohesive. It would be cool to see something tie your photos together.
Mary: Like Amanda and Jessica, I’m totally charmed by your self-portrait. That feels like a very normal but intimate moment of your alone time, just checkin’ on the plants. I like the array of different types of restorative solitude you chose to capture, but they felt too disjointed to me. The lighting and mood felt so different from photo to photo. If you are able to play with lighting and adjust colors and exposure, etc in order to create a more cohesive look, I think that could help make the photos feel more like a series.