This photography series is designed to find Self-Identification. When I first get this assignment topic from Ms. Chow. I think of all sorts of representative methods to bring out this issue. Nationality, characteristic, hometown,...etc. I ended up represent Self Identity by the sense of knowing one's body features. This decision came from a leisurely but inspiring talk with a friend.
I once had a conversation with a Malaysian friend, Cyril, about his dancing story. Although he studied Geography in University, he attended all sorts of dancing performances and even learned Mexican folk dance when he was on exchange. Learning Ballet in his childhood was a trigger that aroused his interest in dancing. Becoming a professional dancer was even his childhood dream.
Though he only dances as an amateur now, he can still stand on his toes like a ballet dancer which normal people can not, because of the intense ballet practice he'd gone through at his young age. He said this is like an imprint on his body, restoring the memory of ballet classes he took when he was a little boy.
His words inspired me a lot. We cherish the differences and features we own which makes us unique. It's the stories that we've lived, the places we've been that influence our soul and make us who we are now. So when it comes to Self-Identification, we usually link to places we belong or Ideology we possess. Yet, sometimes, not only the memories but also our body, holds those stories in our lives.
I once saw a post shared online:
When I was getting my tattoo done the artist had to tattoo a little part of my stretch marks from having my son.
I commented, "I don't really like having them, I wish they would go away."
And he said, "no, don't think of them like that, they are your body's form of a tattoo as well, they signify where your son lived for 9 months and they are wonderful!"
I've never looked at them the same way, since, I accept and admire my stretch marks.
I believe that everyone has a part of their body that makes them special. It may be a tattoo, a scar, a mole, or a curl and twisted hair. We may be born with this trait, or we got it after something happened. No matter what it is, there's a story in it.
I started the photo series, interviewing people and friends of their most significant part of their body, and why.
Below are the works: (Stories could be read clicking on the photos.)
He can stand on his toes, because of intense ballet practice in his young age.
It's "Be yourself" in French. She got this tattoo to remind herself be like the person she wants to be.
It's like his most significant feature. In physiognomy, this mole represents wealth and fortune.
She said she got pretty light skin color, and it's easily to get freckles. It's obvious when she smiles.
He got these black dots in the eye next to pupil. Though they don't hurt at all, not even obvious, they stand to be his special feature.
He got those scars when he was young and hyperactive. The scars maintain after years. They're link the imprint of his childhood.
There's a mole on her chest. Originally, she hated to show the mole out and never wears tank tops, now she thinks it's a sexy part of her body.
There're 2 moles on corresponding parts on both of his hands.
She once get bite by a mosquito between eyebrows on the face. It was really itchy, she scratched and removed part of her skin. It remains a light scar on her face.
"I got cute canine teeth." He said.
He likes his leg hair because it's furry and dense.
He said he has pretty light eyebrows. Which is one of his unique features.