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  M1SFF09 : A WALK WITH WOLVES [Preview]
« on: January 12, 2009, 11:20:31 PM » by alvintck
Straits Times - Life! - A walk with wolves
Tue Jan 6, 2009 7:57 pm (PST)

Jan 6, 2009
A walk with wolves
The world of teenage girls with androgynous looks is explored in an
online photo exhibition
By tara tan

Visual artist Genevieve Chua blends myth and reality in her latest
photo project, Raised As A Pack of Wolves.

On one level, the photographs of the androgynous-looking girls, aged
16 to 18, were inspired by a story she wrote last year about a group
of wolf spirits who take on the form of human beings.

The girls are captured roaming stealthily through the woods in
darkness. Like wolves, they move in a pack but there is an air of
vulnerability about them at the same time.

'I was very drawn to the stories of feral children and their struggles
when trying to adjust to a ruled society,' says Chua, who graduated
from Lasalle College of the Arts in 2004.

'In a way, I'm trying to weigh whether the child is better off left
savage or tamed and anaesthetised.'

On another level, the haunting and poignant portraits of the
androgynous girls who sport short hair and boyish manners carry more
than a tinge of queer identity and gender politics.

They do not conform to society's expectations of how young girls
should look.

'The girls are going through a complex transition that is not often
addressed or represented. It is a time when they are just starting to
explore their sexuality,' says Chua.

'I wanted to capture their transition of becoming an adult, this
awkward phase of trying to figure out where they are in life and who
they will be.'

The online exhibition at www.raisedasapackofwolves.com is presented as
part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, which is on from tomorrow to
Jan 18.

Chua, 24, a recipient of the National Arts Council's Georgette Chen
Arts Scholarship, spent two years documenting the teenagers, whom she
found off the streets or through blogs.

Eschewing the outlandish, she looked for those who possessed 'a quiet,
understated quality''.

One of the models, Gan Ciwei, says she was at first camera shy but
Chua put her at ease. The 19-year-old student met the artist through a
friend in 2007.

'I was struck by how knowledgable and passionate she was. She also
knew how to make me feel more comfortable and less self-conscious in
front of the camera. After a while, I started not to notice it.'

She adds: 'I see this project as opening a door to allow others to see
into this world that may seem intimidating or alienating.

'It's like how some people may not like who we are based on how we
look, but when they talk to us and get to know us, they realise that
we are no different from them.'

taratan@sph.com.sg

# Log on to www.raisedasapackofwolves.com to see the online
exhibition, Raised As A Pack Of Wolves. A print exhibition will also
be presented at Valentine Willie Fine Art gallery in March.


* n53100199516_6454.jpg (7.39 KB, 200x132 - viewed 331 times.)

« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 03:29:43 AM by alvintck »
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