Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Motherland Chronicles #46 - The Seer


Motherland Chronicles #46 - The Seer

Photography: Zhang Jingna zemotion
Hair: Junya Nakashima
Makeup: Alyssa Lorraine
Model: Joanna Bajena
Photo Assistants: Ngoc Vu, Alyssa Yee, Haiyin Lin
Accessories: Harlequin Romantique


So I can't remember the exact beginning now, but sometime last year I saved a few pieces of work by Georges de La Tour onto my computer. They sat innocuously on my harddrive, idling for a long time. Until one day, I came upon the images again, and suddenly was all like, candlelight is so cool! Who did this? I want to try this! And so I went looking for more of his paintings. 

The Dream of St Joseph
Christ in the Carpenters Shop - detail
The Penitent Magdalen

Sadly, planning the shoot wasn't as easy as when inspiration struck. We spent a couple weeks researching and sourcing for chambersticks I liked and ended up buying a handful -- from thrift stores, etsy, and one even came from Turkey. But lighting was a little tricky. After numerous tests and false starts I was worried that it was simply not going to work -- I didn't have anything that felt right to shoot with. The concept took a backseat after a while.

And then I scheduled a shoot with Joanna.

I didn't plan on shooting this concept at all initially (I had something else in mind entirely), but once we were done with the hair, makeup and styling, I knew I wanted to try. I took out the candles and candlesticks and started testing to see which ones worked best. The team probably thought I was just trying out the idea, which I often do on set for Motherland, but will then discard and go back to my original concept. When I carried on with this and eventually said, "Ok, we're done." I think everyone was pretty surprised haha. Yay for spontaneity on set?


A few days later, Toby and I went to check out the Vermeer exhibition at the Frick, and guess what, they totally had a de La Tour painting in permanent collection! When I saw it I was like, what, how did I not notice this the first time? I stared at it for a long while in disbelief. Because dude, this is fate. And I totally experienced a boatload of feelings here. Life was awesome.

When I finished up the picture some days later, I couldn't shake this special sense of affinity I'd come to feel for the picture because of the experience. Just ahh, life can be so interesting sometimes. 

And that's the story for this piece. :D Working on the last 2 now~~ 

6 comments :

acgleason said...

Hello,

I've stumbled across your Motherland Chronicles from DeviantArt and Facebook. I absolutely adore the concepts you and Toby have made with your art. My question is will the upcoming book be available to those who did not get in through the Kickstarter phase. I haven't wanted anything as much as I want a copy of this art book for a very, VERY long time! Each photo and painting is magnificent and makes my imagination soar! Thank you for sharing these!

Jingna Zhang said...

acgleason: Hi! Of course, we'll make a web for later in case people miss the Kickstarter! Thank you so much! <3

Elisabeth said...

I just stumbled onto your work for the first time and I'm so inspired! You are an amazing photographer and woman! Your work is so creative, bold and thoughtful. Your are truly an inspiration to me as a fellow photographer.

Nayara Viana said...

Quando me deparei com seu trabalho realmente me surpreendi, e me familiarizei com o gosto e a estética das fotos! Tanto é que meu trabalho de conclusão de curso (tcc) da minha graduação em Comunicação Social é inspirado em você, principalmente no Motherland Chronicles! Exelente fotógrafa! ;)

Nayara Viana said...

Quando me deparei com seu trabalho realmente me surpreendi, e me familiarizei com o gosto e a estética das fotos! Tanto é que meu trabalho de conclusão de curso (tcc) da minha graduação em Comunicação Social é inspirado em você, principalmente no Motherland Chronicles! Exelente fotógrafa! ;)

Sendy Yulfizar Kuswara said...

Awesome pics!
I think that similar to Gothic Photos :)
By the way, nice to know you.
I'm from Indonesia.

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