Interview by Mahum Shabir

Jieliang is a Junior concentrating in Economics.  This fall she took Sharon Harper’s Intermediate Photography class.  She previously took Intro with Chris Killip.

Mahum Shabir: What are your photographs about?

Jieliang Hao: This series of photos talks about ‘light as material.’ Photography is all about the interplay of light and shadow and through these photographs I try to capture the nature of light. In these photos light is not something abstract but is molded and used for creating space as well.

MS: What technique did you use to achieve the scattering of light? What space are the photographs taken in?

JH: I used a light scattering device from my physics lab and it created fantastical interplays with light so I decided to use it for the photographs. A lot of interesting effects happened only for a really short while at a particular time of  day so I spent a lot of time in the space where I was photographing, in Dunster House. I began experimenting with this early in the semester. I like the idea of using institutional space and transforming it into a mysterious one. There are so many things that you do not see in routine life simply because you do not look. Even when I am not photographing and I go there to study in the morning, I see effects that I had no clue were possible.

MS: Would you want to talk more about the color contrast of the pictures?

JH: I wanted the colors in the pictures to be clean–black, white and the colors of the rainbow. The effects and graphics created by the light are intricate and subtle at the same time. Light is pure so I did not want there to be a mix of color in the pictures. I also prefer the minimalist aesthetic hence the limited color and contrast palette.  I have also been thinking a lot about the placement of each photograph within the series and their presentation within another space. This is my second semester of taking a photography class and I am learning more about things such as presentation each time.

MS: What was the idea behind this project?

JH: Last semester I did like a portrait of Harvard fridges and this time I wanted to do something really different, experiment with something new and create something eye catching. I haven’t seen anything like this out there so far.


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