Under Feet Like Ours

January 9, 2017 2017年1月9日

The work of cultural anthropologist and documentary photographer Jo Farrell combines her innate love for Asia and a self-described desperation to capture disappearing worlds. Her fascination with the region’s rich culture and her desire to explore women’s traditions compelled her to create her photo book Bound Feet Women in China. Over tea in a tiny restaurant tucked away in the depths of central Hong Kong, she relayed how she felt compelled to shed light on an age-old societal issue – the lengths that women will go in search of acceptance, appreciation and self-worth. “We all seem to be obsessed with our flaws and do not celebrate our differences or individuality,” she commented. “I wanted to explore why women alter their bodies to be more attractive.”


文化人类学家和纪实摄影师 Jo Farrell 的作品糅合了她对亚洲的由衷热爱以及她对于捕捉消失的世界的那份热切渴望。亚洲丰富的文化历史以及她对于探讨女性传统文化的愿望促使她创作出摄影集《中国最后的三寸金莲》。在一间隐没于香港中环摩天大的小小茶餐厅里,Jo Farrell 向我们讲述着她对于揭示这一个古老的社会问题的强烈渴望——探讨女性为了获得认可、赞赏和自我价值所愿意付出的代价。“我们似乎都十分关注我们外表上的缺陷,而不是对自己的个性或不之处引以为傲,我想要探讨为什么女性会为了让自己看上去更有吸引力而改变自己的身体。”

This passion project turned photography book has spanned nearly 11 years; Jo has returned to China year after year, photographing a total of 50 bound feet women. “The most memorable moment of this project was when I met Zhang Yunying, the first women I documented with bound feet. The pain and suffering she must have gone through to be considered beautiful, desirable and marriage worthy made me question the extreme lengths that we, as contemporary women, will still go in order to be accepted in our own society. Since then, I have held almost 20 pairs of bound feet in my hands; often the woman will appear embarrassed and I assure them they have nothing to be ashamed of.”


这本摄影集来源于一个充满热情且跨越了近11年的摄影项目。年复一年,Jo Farrell 踏足中国,一共拍摄了50名裹足女性。“在这个项目进行期间,最让我难忘的时刻是我见到张云英(音译)的那一刻,她是我第一个拍摄的裹足女性。为了成为人们眼中美丽、迷人、值得结婚的对象,她所要经历的那些疼痛和痛苦让我开始思考,当代女性为了被社会认可会愿意付出多高的代价。从那时起,我的双手已经捧过差不多20对‘三寸金莲’的小脚;这些女性往往会感到不好意思,但我安慰她们没有什么需要感到羞耻的。”

When shooting in China, Jo is completely in her element. Armed with her trusty Hasselblad 500, a macro lens and plenty of film, she interviews and photographs from morning until sunset, making the most of the day’s natural light to capture breathtaking black-and-white portraits of her subjects. “I believe that film photography is a fine art. There are only 12 frames on a roll. You have to be very precise and know what you want to capture. I print all of my photographs, full frame and no cropping – what you see is what I intended to photograph. To me, the whole process of developing film and working in the darkroom is just pure art. I love the whole process from conception to exhibition.”


在中国拍摄时,Jo Farrell如鱼得水——带着她最信赖的Hassleblad 500 相机,一支微距镜头和大量的胶片。她的采访和拍摄工作往往从早上一直持续到日落,只为了充分利用白天的自然光线,以拍摄出令人赞叹的黑白肖像作品。“我相信,胶片摄影是一门艺术。每一卷胶片只有12帧。你必须要非常精确,清楚知道你想捕捉的东西。我会将我拍摄的所有照片全部打印出来,整幅打印,不作任何裁剪,你看到的照片就是我想要拍摄的照片。对我来说,冲洗胶片的过程和在暗室里的工作都是纯粹的艺术。我喜欢从概念到最终展示出成品的整个过程。”

Jo’s next photography project will take her to rural Myanmar where she will be photographing the brass neck-coiled Kayan women. She hopes that her works will continue to lend an intimate voice to stories otherwise untold and that each photograph can be seen as a celebration of the women that she has been honoured to meet throughout Asia.


Jo Farrell的下一个摄影项目是前往缅甸的农村,在那里,她将拍摄以黄铜圈缠绕颈部的“长颈族”克耶邦女性。她希望自己的作品能成为一种发声,向人们讲述出那些未曾被讲述的故事,希望每张照片都能成为她对有幸遇到的亚洲女性的一种赞美。

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