Emily Chin is a junior at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. She lives in Manhattan with her mom, dad, and little brother. Emily especially enjoys portrait photography. Most of her work consists of portraits of her friends, family, and fellow classmates. Some of Emily’s favorite photographers include Helen Levitt, Sally Mann, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Lois Greenfield, and Kyle Thompson. Emily hopes to continue her studies in photography and possibly explore the field of photojournalism one day.
For my final project, I decided to document the dance majors in my school. Our dancers are so elegant and talented, and when they dance it is almost magical. As I watch these dancers it is mesmerizing to see how swift and free they look. However, in truthfulness these dance majors are in fact confined and restricted. Not many people are aware of how strict our schools dance department can be. Their students must dance a certain way, and they are not allowed to alter their appearances by dying their hair, getting piercings, etc. I chose to portray this confinement by photographing one of the dancers with words written on her face and body. I selected a page from George Orwell’s 1984 to write on her face and body. Basically, the text talks about how protagonist Winston Smith lives in a totalitarian society where the government (Big Brother) dominates and overlooks all aspects of life. I think this piece of literature nicely represents the constraint present in the dance department. I also chose to scatter photos of students dancing around the large 1984 image to establish the idea that the dance students are like “puppets”, repressed and limited, and “controlled” by a bigger figure. Although they seem free flowing and natural on the outside, only confinement and mechanical operations exist.