Hi, my name is Devin Liu. I live in New Jersey, the garden state, and I’m currently a junior attending John P. Stevens High School. Photography is the medium through which I am able to share with the world my visions and perspectives, whether they address reality, my life, or dreams. There are many things in the world that can’t truly be described by words, and photography bridges that gap. To describe Yosemite National Park would be futile because words can’t truly embody its magnificence. Images have a way of evoking emotions and memories that sometimes words can’t: “Each picture is worth 1000 words” and for each individual, those 1000 words are different. That’s the beauty that I find in photography: the ability for one image to speak a different message to every viewer.
My project focuses on human progression and its destruction of nature. The natural world has always been my sanctuary, a sacred cloister away from the stress inducing and corrupting modern world. The surrealistic beauty of the sublime replaces my worries with a sense of serenity and protection. It is a place devoid of the troubles and dangers of civilization. Politics and enmity do not taint the natural world, and all that matters is existence: there is a universal understanding of balance and everything lives in harmony.
However, as I grow older, I notice more and more how nature is being razed to the ground and replaced by the artificial beauty of modernization. I live in the suburbs and as the years go by, more of the woods are being demolished and turned into residential plots of land. What I see is an amalgamation of the old and the new world. Even though we try to balance human progress and the new world with the natural world, we inevitably intrude and poison nature. In the end, we will be left with nothing but a barren wasteland for a world, if we continue to treat Earth as nothing more than a resource meant to be manipulated. As the years go by, more litter is tarnishing the beauty of the tranquil forests. The process of modernization seems to be infiltrating even the most isolated places of nature. Modernization is so enticing, it’s new and brings a sense of power and beauty, but leaves in its wake destruction, replacing a world once serene and untainted. A poison now plagues this land with venom flowing through the veins of nature. We accept modernization because of its facetious beauty, ignoring its catastrophic repercussions on the natural world.
Through these images, I hope the viewers will realize how destructive and reckless human progression has become. These images on a literal level expose the ramifications we leave on the world. On a metaphorical level, these images reveal my perspective and the way I perceive our effects on nature. My goal is for others to realize just how entangled modernization has become with nature. I hope my images will be a catalyst and ignite a spark of revolution. If each person committed one act to better the environment, we could drastically slow the deterioration of Earth, if not stop it.