Cher Du | Showcase
Cher Du | @cherdu_photo
“Memory is identity. I have believed this since… oh, since I can remember. You are what you have done; what you have done is in your memory; what you remember defines who you are; when you forget your life, you cease to be, even before death.”
This is a quite a concise view of memory from Nothing to Be Frightened Of by the novelist Julian Barnes. If memory is identity, then you are what you have done at a specific location, what you have done at the location is in your memory, what you remember at the location defines who you are. There aims to explore the relationship between memory, identity, and location.
The place where I grew up is the starting point of my values. Chinese artist Sun Xun says your hometown is your origin or both you and various parameters of your life. When you measure the world with your parameters, you have many tangible details. What I have done in that tiny region of the world has allowed me to recognise and define myself; the memory of that place will leave an imprint on my heart and follow me wherever I go.
There is a series of photographs that depict the geographical location of my childhood, examining the relationship between memory, identity, and location. Taking photographs of a map constructed from rice, the body of work was manipulated by selecting different parts of this map and then overlaying it to develop individual small photographs. Using the parameters of my childhood memory, it aims to embody the identity of me as an individual, framed by the tiny world where I grew up, and the world I have travelled.
‘Gazing at me?’ 2018, Glitch art photography work
Conceptually, Gazing at me? transforms sexual objects into data and manipulates this. By transforming the original images of women into distorted and horrible figures, my work aims to respond to the male gaze from the perspective of a feminist thinker. The theory of the male gaze was first introduced by Laura Mulvey in Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. The male gaze can be understood as the act of depicting women and the world from a masculine heterosexual perspective that presents and represents women as sexual objects for the pleasure of the male viewer. Mulvey (1975) states that, “pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female.” The male is the viewer, while the female is often the sexual object to be looked at.
Technically, I applied the misalignment glitch method from Michael Betancourt’s Glitch art in theory and practice. The process involved changing the image file to bmp and importing the raw data of the image to Audacity. This changed the image data into a sound file which I was able to manipulate. Finally, I exported the file back into an image. The process combined my intention as a creator, and the device’s potential possibilities.
Cher Du (1998, born in China), a female photographer, started her photography practices in 2017 at UTS. She applies professional photography knowledge gained from university to different conceptual and commercial photographic practices. In the realm of conceptual art photography, her work conveys her personal perception of memory, identity, and the female experience by utilising digital manipulation. She began her commercial photography practice in August 2018. Throughout her works, the female experience remains the main subject, the photographs vividly showing the story behind the subjects. Since 2018, she has completed internships at LUMI FACULTY Creative Vision Institution and Nan Hai media video editing department. With these experiences, she plans to continue her photographic practice, combining both conceptual art and commercial photography.