Past Exhibitions > Chenli Ye

Chenli Ye
Chenli Ye

Chenli Ye

That Serious + Stillfood
May 3rd — May 22nd, 2016
Reception: Friday, May 13, 6 — 8 PM

That Serious, started in 2014, it is a portrait project. I have invited over 30 sitters, who are in their early 20s’, into a studio and photograph them in order to capture the maximum details and the finest texture of light and shade.

Each shooting experience has a ceremonial atmosphere, as I ask each sitter to dress in specific ways and walk in with psychological preparations. The camera and lighting bring up the sitters’ tensions which are rare in their own candid photographs like Instagram photographs and selfies. Instead of making such images by digital devices, a smartphone, I overcome the contemporary image making and slow down the process, focusing on the light, the sitters’ expressions, and even the silhouettes of their clothes. The camera captures how the sitters challenged themselves to the shootings.

Stillfood is a still life series that shares the same photographic language with That Serious. I have the total control over the hand gestures and the placements of food, yet the photographs reflect food’s utmost characteristics.

It is a project that takes its source of inspiration as my personal admiration to food. I go to the Farmer’s Market, collecting beauties from what we consume in daily life and photograph them in hands before cooking them. The photographs transform the ingredients into abstract symbols. The sparse composition eliminates the photographic noise, yet maximizes the storytelling of the material’s smell, taste, and texture… The clinical lighting enhances the simplicity that leaves space for the viewers to explore their imaginations through the vision.

All 10 prints in the series of That Serious photographs are gelatin silver prints and the Stillfood photographs are inkjet prints. The dimension of both bodies of work are 16 x 20 inches.

Many thanks to Fordham Visual Arts Department for the constant supports and encouragement. Special thanks to my all sitters for their time and patience. Finally, I dedicate this show to my parents.

For all inquiries, please contact: Chenli Ye at