Fang Tong is an artist of Chinese descent who lives in Canada and relies on her artistic sensibilities to create scenographic photos not dissimilar to movie staging. While many photographers extol the merits of the snapshot as a way of a better capture of the present moment, others prefer the art of calculated staging. Tong is so adept at scenography that her photos can be taken for real paintings. She cites as influences the art of Edward Hopper, Alex Colville and David Hockney, and it obviously shows in her work.
Tong creates her conceptual staged photos from scratch and tells a different story with each one. Themes include a couple who has problems in communication or a turbulent family reunion. Tong chooses everyday life as the focus of his art, but refracting it through a visual style that could be described as cinematographic.
Her pictures seem so perfectly clean and well thought that it seems obvious they’ve gone through meticulous preparation. Tong says she takes her time when looking for the perfect spot, angles, accessories, and clothes, and basically, she puts together everything and everyone needed for the specific project, so the time to realize such photo concepts can wildly vary and can take from days to months.
Even if her photos seem inspired from everyday life, the Chinese artist brings them in almost surrealistic theatrical dimension. They’re always perfectly staged, aesthetic and sometimes downright dreamlike.