Task 2: My World
A place close to heart
It’s a place that makes me feel small every single time I enter.
It’s a place where my mother prepares meals for my family and also a place where my siblings and I experiment.
It’s my mom’s studio, at the same time it was a playground for my siblings and me.
Someone crack the Egg
There are tonnes of things in the kitchen, yet sometimes it seems lonely. It seems as if the cooking utensils are waiting to be used.
There are so many things inside in kitchen I never fail to be amused. Yet my mother always ALWAYS has a way to keep things organized.
Each and every item here has a story.
The main focus here is the batter and recipe which my mother always keeps within her reach in the kitchen. The egg whipper here is something special to me.
My siblings and I used it to bake. We wanted to experience how it’s like to bake sponge cakes without using the electronic whipper. So we used this to manually mix the ingredients. Sometimes we even try to modify the recipe to suit our own taste buds.
Maybe it’s rare for families to bond in the kitchen but for us, it’s our playground.
I pulled up the Temperature for this photo to make it warmer. The warm tone helps to show the fuzzy feelings I have for the kitchen. I also blurred the other things in the background or further away.
In a sense, I referenced Wolfgang Tillmans’ Lighter Drop (2009)
I found his use of blurring and lighting fascinating. I tried to incorporate the blurry effect into my own photo to bring out the focus. The blur makes it difficult for viewers to see the other things present in the kitchen, this creates a sense of uncertainty. It makes it look surreal and makes everything seem like an illusion. In a way, the kitchen is full of secrets and I always had fun looking at the things mom added to the kitchen. The blurry effect may make viewers sub-consciously wonder, “Hey what’s that?” Which is what I intend to do.In Tillmans’ work, there is also a piece of glass (?) or plastic which he wanted to emphasize (i think) so he made the background blurry. For my case, I found the blurry effect useful and fascinating.
The long stretch of random utensils creates this overwhelming amount of information for viewers to process, which probably makes them wonder where should they start looking at. That is exactly how I feel every time I step into the kitchen.
If the kitchen was another dimension on its own my mother would be the ruler. She knows everything and anything within these walls.
I was always confused by the different kind of pots, pans or other utensils that you can use to boil or steam things with. They aren’t as straight forward as the oven or microwave.
“Different pots are supposed to be for different things.”
She always says that when I try to come over and help her out. In the end she will ask me to go do my own things since I will probably get in the way.
I always felt small when I’m in the kitchen. Particularly in front of the pots. Weird enough but how she makes use of everything here is amusing to watch. If I stand at the glass door to watch her cook she will frown and give me “DA LOOK” while flipping and shifting the pots as well as the ingredients.
DA LOOK = Go do your work, don’t just stand there.
Artist Reference (maybe not exactly)
Tillmans did a close up of the nape to emphasize on the delicate and fragility of humanity or perhaps life as well. I liked how he focused entirely on one particular subject, therefore, I decided to do that as well. The lighting he used in this photo made the subject seem extremely pale, bringing out how delicate and frail it is. I believe he lowered the saturation and vibrancy, at the same time making the nape slightly brighter by adjusting the degree of white-ness ( Photoshop settings). The clever play with lighting in this piece of work leads the viewers’ eyes to the nape eventually. The soft lighting created a “light wash”, highlighting how fragile the subject is.
For my case, I wanted to add a touch to the pots and enhance their presence. Therefore I pulled up the contrast and played with the curve function in Photoshop. I enhanced the glow of the pots, to make it seem magical.
Trust Issues with eating out
My mother does not trust outside food. Unless it’s a restaurant that met her expectation she would not encourage us to eat out.
“You never know what they place on your food.”
There are many articles on the news about how people add ingredients or chemicals that are considered bad for health into their products.
The internet even calls them fake food.
It is not easy to create a meal from scratch, no matter how simple it may be. I really respect my mother for that. Not just does she cook, she also cleans the house as well.
Despite the many responsibilities, she tries to create dishes of our preference.
She even looks up on Youtube and tries to learn how to cook new meals for us.
In fact, the photo above shows the new recipe she came up with, which calls it “pumpkin rice”. My mother is so particular that she even bakes home made bread for us.
In the kitchen, she is the ultimate magician. In her hands, everything turns magical.
I am grateful my mother puts in the effort to plan and prepare my meals for me. Once she went overseas for something and left my siblings and me in Singapore. We tried to cook but we could never create something that could be on par with my mother.
The 3 of us (my siblings and I) share pieces of memories here, creating, experimenting, playing.
The kitchen is my world, it is also our world.
Photos that I did not use
To be honest, I really liked the cutting board shot as well, however, the overall effect was not what I wanted (cluttered, many things going on feel) Therefore I did not use it.