Inverted Night Sky
Feared for his life, Mikhail fled his home country in Africa due to persecution of albino. It is very thought-provoking to think how whiteness is celebrated in the West, but cursed in Africa. We painted Mikhail’s pale albinistic skin with black ashes and smoke pattern, a symbolism for death. When the images are inverted, he magically transcends into a personification of the night sky radiated with galaxies and constellations. Inversion is a tribute to color negative film. Moreover, it is an embodiment of the multiple visual, symbolic and philosophical dualities in this editorial; a metaphor for the contradicting beauty standards in Africa and the West.
The night sky is rich and multi-layered in symbolism. From astrology to astronomy, human's praise, reverence and intrigue towards its beauty, vastness and mystery have united humanity across all cultures and throughout all history. Despite the deep spiritual connection, we still learned to focus on our difference and segregate each other based on color. Through this portrait series, we want to tell the suffering African albino population how beautiful and precious you are, and we want to plead against segregation based on color.
Subject: Mikhail Ogochi
MUA: Anja Dimitrijevic
Author: My name is William Ye and I am a 26-year-old self-taught portrait and fine art photographer based in Toronto, Canada. My passion for fine art photography ignited 3 years ago, under the influences of famous contemporary artists and photographers of our generation, such as Annie Leibovitz, Erwin Olaf, Julia Hetta, Jennifer Thoreson (formerly Jennifer Hudson) and to name a few. Since then, I worked hard to form my own photographic style and develop my own photographic vision, which ultimately rewarded me with several photography awards in IPA, Px3, MIFA and One Eyeland. My favourite subjects are psychology, emotions and feelings. I cannot literally photograph them as they are highly abstract, non-visual and intangible concepts, so instead, I try to photograph the various imageries associated with these concepts to translate something abstract into tangible visuals.