Seasons of Queer: Summer Lingering
High school could be the best time of your lives where you discover your disposition, make long-lasting friends and form great memories. Or it could be a time of confusion, figuring out where you belong and navigating bullies if you don’t fit into any social groups.
Following our vibrant Seasons of Queer: Spring Fling chapter, Genesis and I came up with the idea of shooting portraits for a high school yearbook for the Summer Lingering story. We didn’t want it to feel systemic nor awkward – rather, we wanted to challenge the formula and have our subjects own their space like they would have in high school if they were allowed to.
The high school theme also highlights the existence of different personalities in a singular environment, which serves as a discourse on the need for inclusion within the queer community rather than exclusions such as sexual racism against Asian men and body shaming guys who don’t fit in with the cookie-cutter, chiselled bod look.
We wanted to continue the conversation on Asian skin tones like we touched in Autumn Dreaming so it was important to feature a cast as diverse as we can find. This shoot culminated with many of the talents returning from our previous three series, including Winter Cocooning, as well as introducing three new models.
By now, you would have become familiar with our recurring F-elements – fabrics, fruits and flowers. We incorporated them in this shoot to juxtapose a softer and more surreal mood against the quirky styling and direct gazes from the subjects, something that I felt was important in order to command the viewers’ attention and to accentuate the messages in this shoot.
Model – Alicia, Jason, JD, Jonash, Martyn, Raveena, Red, Sarah and William
Photographer – Henry Ng
Stylist – Genesis Mansilongan
Assistant – Josh Suklan