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self-portrait: me and my happiness

you can see me, you cannot see my happiness
i cannot see myself, i can see my happiness

C-Prints, 20cm x 25cm, 2009



In self-portraits, the photographer performs before the lens, interpreting and directing herself. My intention with this self-portraiture project is to capture my own images in relation to how I look at myself. Looking at oneself without a mirror, one sees only four limbs and a body: one does not see oneself as a ‘whole’.


First of all, I took pictures of myself, my limbs and body, from my own point of view. Then I printed the images out on photographic paper and cut out my figure. Finally I placed the images of myself in the set of a dolls’ house. The theatrical interior of the dolls’ house suggests a sense of perfection which implies the idea of ‘happiness’.


I used a micro-lens to photograph the images in 16:9 format with different sources of lighting: desk lamp, torch and the light from a mobile. The two-dimensional cut-out photographs and their three-dimensional miniature setting were condensed onto a single dimensional plane by the camera. The process of constructing and photographing the scene involved projecting myself into the dolls’ house – I had to see the place, live in it, experience the ‘happiness’.

© 2014 YinHua Chu

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