Image & Imagination: An Exhibit of NYUSH Student Photography and Video Projects

May 14 2015

On May 13, 2015, NYU Shanghai’s first floor gallery space hosted the semester’s final art exhibition, “Image & Imagination,” showcasing student work from Professor Jian-Jun Zhang and Professor Barbara Edelstein’s Introduction to Photography class.

Working with themes of light, abstraction, motion, and a beneath-the-surface approach to Shanghai life, the array of photos express a composite of learned technique and unique perspective.

Tom Lv’s Binary Life (2015)—a series of six black-and-white silhouette portraits—depict darkened profiles of cell phone-holding subjects gesturing a range of emotions.

“I wanted to portray a detached and lonely reality of human reliance on technology,” said Lv. He explained his intentions of photo placement, stressing an alienation and lack of contact between subjects in separate photos facing back to back.

Taking a more surreal approach, Shahn Shamdasani’s michael no. 12 (2015) depicts a humanoid figure with a barcode on his neck, using a desktop computer to download a new identity for himself in true existential, sci-fi fashion.

Sophia Stewart’s video project, A Day in Shanghai (2015), is an experience of jarring staccato splices of footage that captures the overwhelming essence of Shanghai from a foreign perspective. The viewer is inundated by crowds and advertising bombardments, the endless bounty of street food options, and life on the local scale.

A collage with colorful scrapbook charm shows Taylor Miller’s Eating My Way Through Asia (2015) and a plethora of street food encounters from her travels in China.

The staggered, wall-clinging photos from Hannah Dehradunwala’s Distilled Perception (2015) start off with large black-and-white prints of notable Shanghai skyscrapers, complete with a grandiose, faraway feel. Below them descend smaller, colored prints detailing more intricate aspects of Shanghai life.

Dehradunwala explained that each photo has a story and specific memory to it and shapes what Shanghai really means to her. Of a picture with a woman peddling goods on the street, she said, “Nobody else was paying attention to her.”

The projects proved to be an opportunity for students to approach Shanghai through another lens, finding themselves headfirst in the intricacies of the city and digging through raw energy and form to find shapes, shadows, and stories that find significance in their own lives.

Meander through the gallery until May 21 for the imagery and artfulness of these students, who have immersed themselves in and of the city.

Photos from Gallery Opening

Written by Charlotte San Juan