In “Surface Read”, I, as the main character, shuttle between different ages -- both between my personal ages and China’s historical ages. Not only to think over the connection between “decoration” and similarity, but also to consider how western culture influences Chinese people.
As an after-80s girl, my memory is full of Disney, Hollywood and other western fragments. Western popular culture through various cultural factors, including movies, affects the Chinese understanding of aesthetics. At the same time, the networked mode of communications is of a multicultural blend, and has also radically changed the cultural ideology of the Chinese people.
Through “studio photo,” everyone can be set as a Hollywood star. In one moment, people can play sexy Scarlett Johnson, or maverick Lady Gaga; or set the photo background in the Golden Gate Bridge or Beverly Hills. California culture is accepted and chased by the younger generation in China, and it is becoming a kind of Chinese social symbol. As a witness to this social symbol, studio photo is considered as a mirror in the form of Chinese multi-culture.
With an eye toward the universal, “Surface Read” links the ideas of the Chinese private aesthetics with the western cultural impact. Surface Read considers the profound influences of intercultural complexity, and questions the dichotomy between what is changing and what will continue in modern China.