Zhe Chen’s work focuses on those affected by loss or pain and suffering from forms of depression. I find her images incredibly moving, particularly her series ‘Bees’ where Chen photographs people she has met suffering from depression while she herself was suffering. She photographs the ‘bees’ (subjects) living their daily lives, her final image set is a mix of ‘everyday’ images showing depression sufferers coping with their daily life alongside much more shocking images of the ‘bees’ harming themselves. I found this project extremely captivating and clever, as outsiders do not know what having depression can do to a person and this project illustrates the extremes. I think that the images give a viewer an insight into how consuming and dangerous depression is. In Chen’ s ‘Bees’ series we see portraits of expressionless and troubled people alongside almost anonymous images showing self-harm. The most shocking images are where we can see a person bloodied and cut from self inflicted injuries as we are able to put a face to the suffer. But the anonymous images showing arms, hands and blood communicate the idea that most suffers from depression go unnoticed and are anonymous to others because suffers still try to live life as normally as possible. I wanted to discuss Chen’s work because the way she presents her images is incredibly clever, she does focus solely on the self inflicted injuries, she focuses on the people and their lives. Although this project is much more hard hitting than my own it has encouraged me to try and focus on emotions as well as aesthetics. Many of the nymphet blogs have examples of negative experiences that people in the community have had when in relationships with older men. I hope to communicate the vulnerability and naivety of the nymphet community in my images.
Zhe Chen ‘Bees’
Image source: http://www.xn--philippepataudclrier-p2bb.com/?tag=zhe-chen