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2022 Booooooom Photo Awards Winner: Skye Tao

For our first-ever Booooooom Photo Awards we selected 6 winners, one for each category: CLIMATE, PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS, SERENDIPITY, COMMUNITY. Here is our interview with THINGS Winner ​​Skye Tao.

​​Skye is a contemporary visual artist based in Vancouver. She is currently pursuing a BFA in Photography at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her practice mainly centres around street, fashion editorial, and still-life photography. Frequently drawing on themes of nostalgia represented through saturated visuals, Skye’s current work explores aspects of the uncanny and surrealism by combining photographic composition and illustrative theories. She has also worked in the local Vancouver fashion industry through photoshoots and graphic design.

What is the story behind your winning image?

My two bundles of hair from a few years ago, along with a pair of scissors, were initially used for a personal project [Second Home]. I left them on the chair in between shoots. When I noticed the placement of the items on the chair, I was inspired to take the image.

Can you tell us a bit more about your Second Home project?

Second Home is a self-portrait series that reflects my memories and experiences with my homestay family when I study abroad in Canada. Having been apart from them for many years, I’ve decided to have us mimic dolls to reenact the memories we once shared. We are now unfamiliar people being directed by a familiar shared memory, thus creating uncanniness by performing those vague memories through our current selves.

Image from Second Home

What are your eyes being drawn to lately?

Lately, I have been drawn to conceptual and staged photography, especially those depicting the subject performing unusual actions or interacting with items in unconventional ways. Images with saturated complementary colours also attract me as those colours make the image appear more vibrant and dynamic.

What do you most enjoy looking at through your viewfinder?

I enjoy looking at old signages and vintage cars from the last century through the viewfinder when I am taking street photography. The alluring aesthetic of this period has always attracted me, and its vibrant, laid-back lifestyle is a source of inspiration for me.

What’s the best piece of advice someone ever gave you?

The best advice I received in my artistic journey is to treat my artwork as an extension of my body by creating projects that draw from personal experience. By incorporating my own experiences and thoughts into my work, I can add authenticity and meaning, making the piece stand out. This is because, in doing so, I am turning the work into an expression of myself, as if it were a part of my body.

Image from Second Home
Image from Second Home

Finish this sentence: “For me, photography is…”

For me, photography is magic, my life, and my outlet. Photography is not just a tool for documentation, but a medium for expression. It has become a way for me to display my view of the world in life. I am constantly inspired by its ability to blend truth and fiction, to simultaneously capture a frame from one’s life and evoke visual metaphors that symbolize deeper meanings. It is a means for me to convey a message, tell a story, and bring forth memories buried deep within the audience.

Second Home

What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish in the next year or so?

The most important thing for me to accomplish at the moment is to graduate from university, followed by a relentless job hunt in the creative industry. I hope to be working in a studio working on fashion editorial jobs.

What about one thing you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime?

As an artist, my main goal is to create pieces that really connect with people on both an emotional and intellectual level. The number of people affected by my work is not as important to me as the depth of connection it makes with those who experience it. I believe that art has the power to move, inspire, and bring people together, and to me, the greatest accomplishment as an artist is when my work has that kind of impact. Whether it touches many people or just a few, what’s most important to me is that I stay true to my creative vision and continue to create work that inspires and connects with others.

“Tomorrow’s Talent Vol. 4” Art Book

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