My thesis collection is about my early personal experience with social anxiety. During the research process, I was inspired by the work of photographer Michael Wolf, who deals with similar themes. The people and the city in front of his lens have various problem and difficulties, but he chooses to present them with humor. This was inspiring. It made me realize that although the pressures and anxieties I feel have never dissipated, my attitude towards those problems can change. With Wolf’s work in mind, I began creating my own visuals of social anxiety.
Early on in life, I immersed myself in animation, which has greatly influenced my worldview today. In my own photos, I focus on background subjects—people and animals—and illustrate the stress around them with zigzagging or wavy outlines. Some appear to be shaking. Others appear to be melting from stress. I want these images to appear very exaggerated, akin to Japanese Manga, to present the anxieties of city life as positive and humorous. We cannot change how the city functions or rid ourselves of stress and anxiety. But we can embrace it and laugh.