Chinese Herbal Bath
Photography is not simply the preserving of a physical presence to me – it is also an account of the dynamic connection between the energy of the subject and myself. I find this association which my camera is so easily able to capture, both complex and beautiful, and viewers are drawn in through multiple factors. What attracts me to a particular subject such as the Chinese Herbal Baths, is the feeling of being alive and enjoying life in a perfect state of peace and harmony. – Something which is very deep rooted in my Chinese culture. Viewers are able to have a deep understanding of this state, but how to attain it is often elusive to them and has to become imaginative. The photographic image compels the viewer to contemplate a broader, invisible reality which is not always founded on logic.
Chinese culture with its great ancient history including traditional Chinese medicine and herbal remedies, has always been a very powerful influence to me as a photographic artist. In the series of my fine art self portrait photography work I used various types of alluring traditional Chinese herbs to create this series base on different moods of myself covered in a countless number of herbs in strikingly different colors. As an artist who lives far away from home, these Chinese Herbal Baths symbolize a process of healing and being reborn again because when I was growing up in my homeland, they were the miraculous nutrients that I ate and drunk in order to nourish my mental or physical depression. I discovered the traditional Chinese herbs in New York’s China Town, and used them to create this photographic series. It generates wonderful memories for me, and has inspired viewers to think about allocating some time for self-indulgence and de-stressing amid their fast paced lives.
2014 Lens Culture Editor’s Selection