Title: RAISED AS A PACK OF WOLVES
By: GENEVIEVE CHUA, 24, SINGAPORE
Launch date: 01.01.2009
Raised as a Pack of Wolves is a visual narrative revolving around a
family of youths who come together in support of each other where they
fend for themselves in the wild. This series shows their attempts to
establish familial ties during the awkwardness of adolescence, as they
move about together like wolves on a hunt.
The story runs along with a written narrative that is on the cover
of the site. The photographs feature the “wolf spirits” as androgynous
youths, who are assumed girls, as the real gender of these wolves are
not yet apparent. The series consists of 60 photographs that were shot
in low-light, at dawn, where these characters emerge from the wild.
Raised as a Pack of Wolves is a commissioned series by M1 Singapore
Fringe Festival 2009.
Visibly shot on grainy photographic film, the series of photographs by Genevieve Chua attempts to delineate a narrative of a bizarre ‘pack of wolf-spirits’ emerging, and returning to the woods. what is uncanny about these photographs are that they are incredibly banal and snapshot in nature, but yet depict characters we see about, but seldom identify with on the streets. These adolescents gather as a pack, illustrating the need to belong.
There are possibly two reference points I will draw to this work: 12 Lotus by Royston Tan, and the recent blockbuster movie Twlight, based loosely on the novel by Stephenie Meyer. The former, flashbacks between a twisted reality and painful memories of possibly a schizophrenic character, and the latter, no surprises, imaginary beings that prey on young adolescents.
Like the lead character Lian Hua played (simultaneously) by Mindee Ong and Liu Ling Ling in 12 Lotus,It could also be a retelling, or an imagination run wild by a fictitious character, the persona of the narrator of the story. The trajectory of the introductory text about a pack of wolves could be a metaphor for the need to belong, and the need to prey on the weaker.
Like Bella in Twlight, perhaps it is about love, of the most unconventional, acceptable kind. Maybe there isn’t a straight way to understand the story completely, with tacky first photograph, with a superimposed image of what seems like a white Siberian husky dog. As disjointed as Wong Kar Wai’s 2046, much needs to be read between the 60 frames, as they might not necessarily be linear. Limited action, and limited props make them less attractive to look at, then the staged photographs of Cindy Sherman, or Sophie Calle’s self-absorbed and make-believe artworks. Art and life is blurred, through the use of film stills in both cases.
But like Sophie Calle, perhaps the work might best suits a presentation involving a myriad of text, photographs, objects – a context or setting – to pull us beyond the fictional veil cast by Twilight. Or a more attractive means of telling the story vis a vis the internet, if Flash is attempted at all, like Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) official website. Perhaps then, the story of a pack of wolves and sisterhood will blend well together with truth, fiction and desire.