Miu Vermillion‘s upcoming solo show, ‘Vignettes’, at Sally Centigrade Gallery is a complete 4 part mini series that features taxidermy animals and faux corpses and as Miu explains, explores the notion that “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” and that includes that successful put-together person who seems to have everything, and the person who always greets everyone with a smile.
Some people simply hide their struggles better than others. All you can learn about other people are the snippets and highlights of their lives. Just like trying to figure people out by peering through their windows, you can never learn their whole stories. All you can see are the vignettes of their lives … the things they allow you to see, and the things they fail to hide.
Thursday, March 9, 2017 | 5 -9:30pm
March 9 – April 8, 2017
1423 Larimer Street | Downstairs Walkway, Suite 080
Denver, Colorado 80202
“Miu Vermillion is a creator and a free-spirit. Inspired by manga, dark anime, and twisted stories she unwittingly read when she was a child, she started to use a camera and an image-editing software to express the emotions she wasn’t able to verbalize. One and a half decades later, the thing that started out as a cathartic outlet has turned into a creative endeavor, a source of joy, and a way to explore various perspectives on social issues. Besides her fine art and experimental analog photography, Miu is also known for her fashion photography. Her work has been seen globally in fashion, photography, and art publications, as well as in the “Shoot the Cover with Wix & Condé Nast” videos on Wix’s, Vanity Fair’s, Conde Nast Traveller’s, and Brides Magazine’s websites. In addition to being an artist, Miu is a regular contributor to beautiful.bizarre and a co-founder of an independent demi-couture company called Angelica Brigade: AvaNt GardE Luxurious Inventions by Collaborative Artists Brigade.”
The show will consist of 4 photography mixed media pieces that bring her vision to life ‘Live’, ‘Sway’, ‘Fragile’ and ‘Night Vigil’. Miu has come up with specific connect for each shoot, and then carefully created and curated the props to convey the concepts in their visual forms. “I try my best to explain the concept and direct my team; but, whatever you see on the final image is filtered through my team’s – especially the model’s – personal interpretations, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. More often than not, my regular collaborators tend to add an extra something to the end result(s),” says Miu. Although she never tries to lead anyone to interpret her work a specific way, she feels once, her work is out, it is up to the viewer to personalise what the works means to them.
Don’t miss seeing these incredible series of works by Miu Vermillion!
To give you some more insight into the way Miu’s intimate photography came into fruition and more about her early beginnings, I spoke to her in more detail about her influences and her willingness to share her process so openly on her blogs.
‘I started my journey in image making when many, many years ago using a very low-end digital camera I bought at a bargain store. Within a week or so, the camera’s battery door broke, and I had to use hair elastic to keep the battery from falling out of the camera. I remember how I run from one side of the room to another to shoot the photos because my camera back then did not come with a remote, just a 3 second timer. And since I did not have a tripod, I used to perch my camera on a bookcase, a pile of books, a side table, or other objects instead. The straight-off-the-camera images didn’t look so terrific, so I had to adjust their saturation, highlight, shadow, gradient map, etc in Photoshop at my school’s computer lab. But, the images I made back then are not very different from the ones I create today. I can’t create large prints of the works I created many years ago because I shot them using very low resolution camera. Plus, my old images look less sharp, and the lighting could be better; but these things are not the very first things people focus on when they are looking at the images. In the past, I used to create dark and disturbing self-portraits. So, the very first thing they noticed were the situation or scene I tried to depict and the photo’s dark mood.
Sure, gears and techniques matter but originality, authenticity, and the ability to form a visceral connection with your viewers (and your models!) matter more. Much, much more!
This might sound a little weird, but someone I consider my biggest influence is a (then) very popular female musician I prefer not to name. She used to be very involved in the productions of her albums, album covers, music videos, promotional materials, etc. She was very young, beautiful, and well-known for her eclectic and trend-setting fashion style. But, those are not the main reasons I admired her. Instead, her fearlessness in expressing strong negative emotions (even anger) through her lyrics, stage performances, and music videos leave a very deep and lasting impression in me. I was raised to become one of those people who only show positive emotions to everyone and bottle negative thoughts and feelings inside. But, burying one’s frustrations, anger, and sadness is a constant battle because those emotions tend to stay alive; and, sooner or later, they will erupt. But, this musician showed me that it’s okay to get angry and show one’s anger to the world; that it’s okay to admit one’s sadness and struggles. Inspired by her dark and avant-garde music videos, I started to create my own digital imageries. And since I no longer feel the need to hide or battle with my less-than-pleasant thoughts and emotions all the time, I become a much happier and easy-going person. Kinda ironic, isn’t it?”