Subway (from: Seamless) | DSLR | Archival Ink Print | 30" x 45" | 2013
Cruise (from: Seamless) | DSLR | Archival Ink Print | 30" x 45" | 2013
Artist Statement: Seamless addresses issues of truth and fiction in photography as they conflate with consumer fantasy. This series of photographs highlights the artifice of the Chinese wedding photo studio in which seamless backdrops and props are used to transport engaged couples to locations of their romantic fantasies. In what has emerged as an extravagant wedding photography ritual in contemporary China, couples engage in full-day shoots that occur months before the actual wedding day. Rather than capturing lived moments from the wedding, the wedding photo shoot has become a separate, but equally important (and expensive), event. These images speak to the romantic fantasies and aspirations of a new generation of young, middle-class Chinese couples who want to capture their youth, and a moment in time, as the world quickly transforms around them. The photographs reveal the space beyond the backdrop and lighting equipment. The use of overhead lights, rather than the studio lights, strips the glamour from the scenes to show the underlying reality of the studio.
Priscilla Briggs is an artist based in Minneapolis, MN. She has received various grants to fund her ongoing work in China and other projects, including 2010 and 2014 MN State Arts Board Grants and a 2008 McKnight Artist Fellowship. She completed residencies at Art Channel in Beijing in 2008 and the Chinese European Art Center in Xiamen in 2010 and 2013. Her photographs are included in the Midwest Photographer’s Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. Briggs exhibits regularly with notable venues including: the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Hillstrom Museum, the Minnesota Center for Photography, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and the Franklin Artworks in Minnesota; the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild and the Wood Street Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA; and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Her videos have been screened in various venues including the Charles Theater in Baltimore, MD and the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY. Briggs received an M.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art and a B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently an Associate Professor of Studio Art at Gustavus Adolphus College.