Emem Udoh

ART NOW S20 Professional Practices

Consisting of two photos, “At Night the City Glows” is a depiction of urban life and how with dusk the city comes alive. Taken on the streets of Bangkok, these photos demonstrate the dynamic, energy felt at the city’s core. Color gradings of bright pinks and blues with exaggerated lightings and glows creates a surrealistic portrayal of urban living. The busy life, vibrant lights, and misty overlays convey a dream-like atmosphere that induces feelings of nostalgia that contribute to the vividness of this memory.

“Falling on the Moon” conveys the story of a young trans man’s struggle with depression and uses the first piece to draw on his experiences. The visualization of negative space puts emphasis on the circular dome the man is consumed by.

Within the blackness of the dome, his thoughts entrap and confine him, making his sadness feel infinite yet stagnant. The man is created to resemble a constellation in a dark sky to depict the illusion of a celestial being falling from space yet consumed by the vastness of night – his depression.

Although it may seem as if all is lost, to this young man, and that he is bound to this space for what feels like an eternity, there is light and there is hope. Penetrating the blackness of this dome, there are hands, holding with delicacy the man’s thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams. Depicted in contrast to the dome, these hands are synonymous to help and support; and, are not visible to the man, but are always there to reassure and uplift him when he falls.

With many individuals battling depressive disorders like depression, falling feels like a lifetime, everything feels hopeless. This work tells the story of a young man’s struggle with depression, yes, but also his triumph and victory.