Thursday, 7 June 2012

Confessions of a Shopaholic

 A pack of colour rubber bands ($1.67) © Ina Jang


Recently I had a plenty of time looking for stuff at local drug stores to find certain items for a shoot, and ended up purchasing a few random things thinking only, 'this is photogenic'.

A set of dice ($2.49) © Ina Jang

Then I realized that my place is full of 'stuff', already used or neglected under a thick coat of dust, waiting to be photographed. It seemed clear that a distinct shopping pattern has developed for me; I buy colourful little things, often stationery. Sometimes I use them. Sometimes not.

A set of small size doilies ($1.99) © Ina Jang

It is such an obvious and absurd question to ask oneself - do you buy stuff to make photographs of it?  I started asking the question to my photographer friends and a dozen emails confirmed that we do -  a skull, a rope, a slinky, a blanket, a wig, raw meat and tonnes of flowers. People do buy stuff just to make images of them.

A pack of dyed feathers ($2.29) © Ina Jang

It seems that shopping is often encouraged by the desire to possess photographs of objects. It gives people not only uncomplicated access to make images but also gives certain privilege to own that access at the same time.

 A pack of colour rubber bands ($1.67) © Ina Jang

Then, what is the after-life of these materials? Once they serve as subjects immortalized in a photograph where do they go? I decided to make portraits of stuff purchased recently. A set of dice for $2.49, a pack of colour rubber bands for $1.67, a set of small size doilies for $1.99 and a pack of dyed feathers for $2.29. And here they are to share with you. I finally found something to do with them.

Maybe I can return them now?

Ina Jang (Foam Magazine #28/Talent)

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