Utopian Vision

by Tianqi Liao

Coined by Thomas More 500 years ago, the concept of utopia has undergone several layers of transformations as society progressed and dominant ideologies gradually shifted with time. Yet, at its core, it remains a state that seeks to eliminate manifestations of impurity to offer an ideal and copious landscape. While my interest in this subject was born out of a perpetual desire for perfectionism, this project is not an attempt to embrace personal yearnings. Perhaps somewhat similar to a work of literature or even a sociological theory that seeks to delineate what a utopia constitutes, this photography project draws on interdisciplinary fields to satirize the radicalized expressions of utopianism. In recognition of a utopia’s power to condition existing human behaviors, this project also addresses how idealistic visions can quickly escalate into dystopian ones and that such preferred realities are mere façades susceptible to individual differences or the basic instincts of self-preservation. In short, “Utopian Visions” is a series of picture-perfect representations that explores the concept of utopianism using the photographic medium.