Within these photos, I wanted to portray the dichotomy between the Internet and reality—between screen and skin, between pixels and paper, and most importantly, between perception and truth. Our world and the different tools we use and see every day have leapt from decade to decade, and this has adjusted our viewpoints of each other. From charcoal portraits to selfie cameras, we’ve grown to see ourselves in an entirely different light. These nine images attempt to show a contrast between who we are and what we see. The pictures form a combined reflection through close-ups of body parts to books and television screens. This series explores our ever-transitioning perception of ourselves and the world around us, as our phones—and more specifically, social media—often consume us. Further, the series reveals certain truths about different generations. Through the reflection of Instagram accounts and shaky selfies, these truths peels back a layer of society as well as the stained pages of any textbook.
To analyze any aspect of culture, we must view those grainy black-and-white films and encyclopedias, but we must also investigate new forms of media. As a member of Generation Z, my technology often seems to be an extension of myself and I sometimes compare myself to my parents or others who still read the newspaper and use landlines. The fragmentation between attitudes towards technology is often confusing and that further accentuates the point I hope to prove with this series. This subject is a contradiction in itself because it discusses this contrast between modern and old, yet it also forms a connection to those exact concepts, making this series a contemplation on us and ourselves.
Ting Ting Chen