12 February 2020

Photography Graduate 'Captures Bonds that Girls Share'

Photography Graduate Arabelle Zhuang has featured in an article on artsy and CNN.com explaining how her photographic series - Reverie - re-imagines her own childhood experience. It tells how the series of photographs reflects the deep bonds that girls develop at different stages of their childhood and in to adulthood.

When Arabelle started studying photography at Falmouth, she began to find her footing. "When I was growing up, I was kind of lost in a sense where I didn't know who I really was and where I was going with my life," she said. Zhuang explained that she didn't truly experience the sense of becoming a woman until she left for college. "I wanted to show that visually," she said.

Though Arabelle only shot Reverie during a short period in 2019, the story she chose to tell spans childhood and adulthood. She chose four critical moments in the girls' lives - childhood play, the beginning of school, the pressures of the digital age and the confidence of womanhood - and had them act out each part.

Through Reverie, Arabelle wanted to "explore cinematic storytelling through photography and show the passage of time," she said. At the same time, she sought to "show how empowering it can be when you have a strong support system, and celebrate the challenges that girls face while growing up."

Recently, she has begun forging her own identity. She moved back to Singapore, took a graduate position at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, and founded a platform for Asian female creatives called A Girl Away From Home.

Photographing Reverie helped her develop her direction in photography - she has other ideas for staged narratives in the works - but it gave her a sense of belonging as well.

"Through this process we became quite close," Arabelle said of the girls. "We shot many times together and it was a bonding experience for all of us."

Read the full article on CNN.com