Nüwa Re-awakening 女娲复苏

I want to share with everyone this piece of art that I am involved with. I was given the opportunity to model for photographer Tami Xiang, from Fuse Photography in creating this project, Nüwa Re_Awakening. This series of project has been featured in Head On Photo Festival 2014 as well as French magazine L’oeil de la Photographie.

Tami was originally from China and is now living in Perth, Western Australia. There is this strong culture in her that she is unable to forget despite living in the western society. She began to think about how women in ancient China were leading such difficult life, being a female were automatically deem to be a lower class, whereas in modern society, us female, have all the freedom to do what we want.

“According to Chinese legend, Nüwa is the goddess who created humans. In ancient times, Nüwa was worshipped and females were respected and held in high regard as the nurturers of life. As Chinese civilization evolved, feudalism promoted the requirement for the female to be loyal to one man for the woman’s entire life and created systems to ensure male domination.

Education for females was seen as threatening to the status quo and the principle “no knowledge for a female is a virtue” took hold until these ideas became commonplace and accepted throughout the society. Oppression of women was considered to be natural.

For this series I chose to incorporate nude as one of the principle elements, as it symbolizes the vulnerability and helplessness of females living in a society where control is paramount .The nude is also a taboo subject in ancient conservative China and so it is also symbolic of my rebellion and rejection of the feudal system of control. It’s a story of one woman, but also reveals the fate of many millions of women without freedom and rights in the ancient days.” – Tami

Being a Chinese female, I can relate very well to this project. This series of art work is currently the best sets of pictures that I’ve produced in the whole of my modelling career. We spend so much time prepping for the shoot in her home studio, I even had to stay over a couple of days at her house just to finish this assignment. The male model is none other than Jarrah, my boyfriend who is kind enough to help out in this project.

I’ve uploaded 3 of my favourite pictures, which is also a more “family-friendly” one. To anyone that doesn’t understand, im going to explain the meaning of each image and the object’s cutural clues and symbols.

  • Cages: Symbolize the restrained environment, society rules, pressure and the moral doctrine.
  • Masks: They are mean to hide and not show one true self.
  • Tea-set: The teapot represents the male whilst the cups represents the female.
  • Phoenix crown: It’s similar to the modern day wedding tiara. The bride wears it on her wedding day.
  • Divorce certificate: In ancient tradition, only men had the right to divorce and can do that without any valid reason. Women however had no rights at all.

Image

Women are always trapped. Physically and mentally. They have no rights nor say.

Image

The bride washing her groom’s feet. Marriage wasn’t as glamourous back in the days. Women were treated more like slaves.

Image

As much as being supressed and treated like a slave in their marriage. If a woman is divorced, she’s deem worthless. A woman would rather be locked in a cage than to be divorced.

So here it is! Hope you guys like it. If anyone happens to check out the gallery and wishes to find out more about any particular image, please do let me know and im more willing to share.

Read more on Head On’s website as well as L’oeil de la Photographie’s website. *Warning: Contain nudity.

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