Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today's Asia Visual Anthropology Related News

Here are some Asia related visual anthropology news stories about the use of photography and imagery. The first two were featured in the Daily Yomiuri Asia feature section.

Photo borrowed from The Jakarta Post.

From The Jakarta Post:

Pre-wedding memento

For many Indonesians, a wedding is not only about having a special gown, picking attractive invitations and souvenirs, reserving a spacious venue for hundreds (or even thousands) of guests for the big day or even ordering good food and floral decorations.

There is another ritual prior to the actual wedding day which many consider no less important than the main event: getting photographed in a pre-wedding session.

Normally, the photos taken in the pre-wedding session will be put on wedding invitations. 

Traditionally a photographer would take standard photos of the couple, but in this era of advanced technology, and particularly special effects, pre-wedding photo sessions have become a medium for couples to express themselves (and to show off their togetherness to their guests).

Nowadays, not only are the photos used for the invitations, but they are also displayed around the wedding venue for guests to enjoy. The bride and groom can explore their creativity by creating special themes for their photos, such as box-office movies.

Thus, pre-wedding photo sessions have become an inseparable “tradition” for most couples here. They have become a huge phenomenon in the last decade, and as a result the pre-wedding photography business has flourished, particularly in big cities.

However, this trend is not without its critics.

Earlier this year, a group of ulemas from East Java declared pre-wedding photos haram (not allowed under Islamic law), claiming that such photo sessions encouraged unmarried people to hug each other while posing.

The declaration has not dissuaded many couple from attending pre-wedding photo sessions.

“I’ve found out that pre-wedding photo shoots only exist in Indonesia. It’s a culture for couples here,” said prominent photographer Darwis Triadi.

Read the whole story:

Photo borrowed from China Daily.

From China Daily:

Made for each other

Dong Liqian, a 22-year-old student of the Film School at Tongji University in Shanghai, is busy with something rather un-academic these days. She is writing a 5-minute music video (MV) screenplay for a newlywed couple.

She is one of the three freelancers hired by Youth Image Studio, a professional studio in Shanghai that specializes in recording personal love stories, dubbed "love MVs".

Basically a short music video on how the couple met and fell in love, such videos are becoming popular in some metropolises.

Dong says she found the freelance job on the Internet, and now takes assignments over the phone. She tailors her scripts to the requirements of her customers, which sometimes include bizarre requests such as setting the video in 1930s Shanghai.

"I earn 150 yuan ($22) for each screenplay," she says.

Her employer, Yang Dan, 28, opened the studio with a partner five years ago while still a at Shanghai University. It was while filming promotional videos for companies in 2007 that the idea of shooting music videos for young couples came to him.

"Everyone was talking of elaborate wedding photo shoots. Why not film a MV instead?" he asked himself.

The studio offers tailormade MVs, with the screenplay based on the couple's romance, for 8,800 yuan ($1,320). This price entitles the newlyweds to 10 sets of DVDs packaged exactly like an original movie DVD, complete with poster and still pictures.

During the long National Day holiday recently, which is traditionally a boom time for weddings after the May Day holiday, the studio received more than 20 orders within a month.

Making a "love MV" follows much the same path as a full-length feature film. Yang first gets to know the couple and their romantic history, and then comes up with a screenplay with inputs from his freelancers such as Dong.

"Most want to recount their campus romances. But I have just written a screenplay about love in this life and a past one," Dong says.

Read the whole story:

Photo borrowed from Japan Today.

And then there's Japan...

From Japan Today:

Bra introduces Japan to foreign visitors

Lingerie maker Triumph International Japan Ltd on Wednesday unveiled a concept brassiere meant to introduce Japanese tourism spots to foreign visitors. The dark blue bustier has a holder placed around the stomach to display an image of one of six major tourist spots such as Mt Fuji, the Asakusa district known for the Senso temple and the Akihabara electronics shopping area.

It also has three buttons that can be pushed to play a message saying, ‘‘Welcome to Japan,’’ in English, Chinese or Korean. Another feature is a short skirt attached to the dark blue outfit that flips up to reveal a map of Japan.

Triumph said it hoped the design, the latest in a line of not-for-sale promotional bras it has launched to mark major trends and events, will help support Japan’s goal of attracting 30 million foreign tourists a year.

Read the whole story:

1 comment:

Clarissa at Talk to the Clouds said...

"Only in Indonesia"? Definitely not--this is a major industry in Taiwan, and seems to be so in Hong Kong as well. (I don't know about mainland China, but I'd be slightly surprised if it isn't--and I imagine the Chinese influence is where Indonesia got the practice.) It's also done among many Asian-Americans in the US, some of whom even fly to favored portrait studios in Taipei. A friend's outdoor shoots were so glamorous that passing Japanese tourists asked if they could take snapshots as well. :) They may well have thought the shoot was a promo for a drama or something!