See Me As I Am

PhotographerShine Huang
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

I started to bring the backdrop to people’s houses. I requested they wear the clothes they felt represented their culture. The traditional clothes Habesha wear are all hand-woven cotton with specific patterns, mostly inspired by the orthodox cross. These precious hand weaving and embroidering shows Habesha ancient history and Habesha women’s creativity. The choice of taking people away from their natural environment and putting them in front of a grey backdrop did not simply isolate them, it transformed them. Sometimes the change was subtle; sometimes it was shocking. But there always was a great outcome. The studio set become a neutral area for us. It was not their home, as I brought backdrop and equipments into their lives; it was not my studio, as I set up at their place. But in this isolate space, it was only me and my subject. We are having conversation and culture exchange through lens.