Sihao Fan

An Exploration of the New Aesthetics of Archival Photography Through a Practice-Based Investigation of the Main Gates of Religious Architecture

On this page

Is photography a service or an art? Photography is art, but in today’s life, it is more in the form of service. As art, photography pays more attention to subjective artistic expression; as a service, photography is more about practical value. Is there a new aesthetic that can reconcile this phenomenon so that photography has both subjective artistic expression and objective practical value? 

I’m from a practical commercial and press photography background, so my photography was extremely practical at the beginning and lost its artistic implication. Therefore, I hope to find my artistic expression in photography back through my research. 

My research uses the main gate of ancient religious architecture as the subject of my photography to express cultural characteristics. Meanwhile, the demand from stakeholders will be collected for an enduring practical value. These are about an archival photography which could joint personal subjective expression with communal objective enduring value. With the development of technology, photography and imaging techniques are different from the past. How these new techniques can aid photography and artistic expression will also be explored. 

A new aesthetic of photography will be sought through my exploratory research. 

Names of Supervisors:  

  • Andy Milligan 
  • Dr Shaleph O’Neill