We went along to the opening of the "What We See What We Say" exhibition this week and were blown away by the hard work of the School of Design students at Victoria University of Wellington on such a thought-provoking topic.
Dr Mizuho Nishioka adding the finishing touches to the exhibition she organised with her students.
The exhibition, entitled "What We See, What We Say" voices the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of students, and their friends, who are of Asian descent.
The focus is on getting behind the media-fronted misconception that Asia can be neatly homogenised as a single region or a single culture and exposes the concerns of Asian youth and their expectations as individual people in New Zealand. Students researched and tried to express through photography such important and really challenging topics like suicide, the truth, the importance of home and culture, the idea of "human nature", the social pressure in the modern world, the value of items, and many other ideas.
"I took a series of photos to express the process of having depression-committing suicide, which I hope could alert people to pay more attention on mental health. From my research I found that depression is a kind of mood disorder which affects our thoughts, behaviours, feelings, and tendencies. Generally, we will feel hopeless, helpless, guilty and empty when we are facing it... I was trying to create a struggling atmosphere with those feelings. In my pictures I used red ropes and silk, which represented the struggle inside of my heart and the blood. They also represented hidden hints of losing life little by little", says one of the students whose work is exhibited.
At the exhibition
Sponsored by the Chinese Cultural Center in New Zealand who put on live music performances for the opening night, the exhibition has been developed from the first year "Photographics" paper of students at Victoria University School of Design. Despite the title, these students aren't photography students though, instead they use photography to develop critical and discipline specific inquiries.
Music performance by the Chinese Cultural Center for the opening night.
Excio is excited to bring a selection of work from this exhibition to the screens of people around the world, and to work with these, and other students on their projects in a close collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington.
If you're interested in taking a look, the exhibition can be viewed until 22nd September 2018 at The Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington.
Photographs by NZPhotographer Magazine.