New Project: Sugar

This semester, I am going to do honors special project. To explain about the project briefly, honors students are required to do two independent studies, and this special project is one of them. The project has to be proposed and approved beforehand. I like this structure, especially because it allows the students to construct a project from scratch, giving us the experience outside of classroom.

The project I am going to work on is a visual analysis of American food culture. Every time I move to a new place, I try out local products and cuisines to understand the culture better. In the case of Columbus, and the United States in general, I began to recognize the amount of sugar hidden in the food here. From cookies, cupcakes, muffins, chocolates, and to pop/soda, they sit in the grocery store luring your eyes with their bright neon color packages. I tried to resist them, but sadly failed to do so. The temptation is so hard to resist!

It is difficult to avoid them because they are everywhere around us. Are you craving some chocolates? Simply hop on your car, drive to your closest grocery shop, and voila, now you have 10 different kinds of chocolates to choose from. The availability of these sweets at an affordable cost allows everyone to purchase and consume the sugars anytime, anywhere.

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Hot chocolate is one of the sweet drinks that is everywhere…oh, such a perfect drink in the winter!

Based on my observation, I am going to create a series of photographs about sugar consumption. Everything is yet to be shot, so this is going to be a wordy explanation of the vision:

Each photograph stages different kinds of sugar filled food, such as sweets, pastries, and soft drinks (or sodas), and they are all going to be lit in chiaroscuro. The background is going to be dark field, and the foreground brightly lit in a similar manner as Willem Kalf and Jen Weenix’s paintings. I am also planning a wide shot that includes all the sugary food.

In addition to this, all sugar filled food is going to be empty in the inside to reflect the empty calories. Some will be cut in half to show the inside, where else others will simply appear with nothing in the core. The appearance of the food is going to depend on its shape and form. Next to each food is also going to be a small mountain of sugar, as if it came straight out from the empty area of the food.

I will be documenting the process on this blog; stay tuned!

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