Artemisia Luk:

D I S T A N C E
 
 
Artemisia Luk
Media Arts & Sciences major
 
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longing
archival inkjet prints
 
long light gray fabric wall with long series of photographs installed in a straight horizontal line across it
 
In longing, I explore the emotional distance between people by implying imaginary relationships between objects.
 
These relationships are created through red string and diptychs. The meaning behind the red string comes from the Red Thread of Fate, also known as the Red String of Marriage in Chinese culture. According to the myth, an invisible red string connects two people who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances, similar to the Western concept of a soulmate.
 
In my series, I use this symbolism to illustrate an ongoing desperation to connect with other people, romantically or platonically. Despite this longing, the red string never successfully connects, which is often the case in real life. Nearly everyone can relate to feeling misunderstood, craving love or intimacy, missing the opportunity to say something, awkward silences or uncomfortable small talk, or holding in heavy emotions like sadness, anger, or pain.
 
I first made this series during Professor Van Beckum's Intermediate Photography class to reflect on my experiences with social anxiety and depression in high school. The first image of the series starts in the isolated library cubicle where I spent nearly all my lunch periods alone. While I sometimes still grapple with the same isolation and loneliness, the series has adopted a new meaning in the context of the pandemic and in my final year at Wellesley. My longing is not only for people, but for time, too. I feel myself waiting impatiently for beginnings and endings, worrying about the months after graduation and dwelling on the pre-pandemic past. It's easy to forget that the present is a moment in itself.
 
 
photograph of hand holding pale phone, red string around hand, dark wood background
 
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