Listen up dear readers, because today we bring you a gorgeous set of frames from a styled shoot entitled ‘The East’.
Inspired by Chinese and Asian traditions, this shoot takes the traditional Chinese tea ceremony and reimagines it in a spectacular vision.
Lilac of Upside Down Events, the creative talent behind the vision for this set up, tells us “At a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, no one is truly comfortable. There is a lot of confusion, a fair bit of rushing around and very easily, frustration creeps in – even the couple themselves are rarely relaxed.”
“The tea ceremony takes place at a familiar place – often at the parent’s home. But this also means cluttered surrounds, claustrophobic spaces, and a setting that fuels anxiety. The couple wears things they have never worn before. They’re being directed to perform customary rites that they themselves do not understand. All this is done in front of people who are watching and correcting them.”
Lilac explains, “what should be an emotional rite of passage ends up being a chaotic experience for everyone involved. Instead of joy, relief that it is over becomes the lingering taste. And this is where the concept of ‘The East’ came from; observing Chinese/Asian cultural traditions on the wedding day and wanting to make them more enjoyable, and meaningful, for marrying couples.”
“I wanted to explore the possibility of making traditional special and appreciated, not for the sake of adhering to how things should be but rather, to show that heritage matters – but with a certain contemporary flare.”
One of our fave photographers, Daniel of Angus Porter by DKC captured it all and created a story to set the scene.
Take it away, Daniel!
I want to take you back in time; a time where a boy and a girl (not much older than you are right now) had been betrothed to each.
Like many before them, this was an arranged marriage and being the eldest child of their respective families, it was their duty.
Before the age of emails and SnapChat, all they had to go by was a painting of them made by the local village artist. They had never met. Until now, which is where this unexpected love story begins.
The boy arrives at the ceremony location, hours before the big and loud festivities are to be. He isn’t ready to be wed – he has a million thoughts running through his head. And to get away from it all, he came to this place to think, to ponder, but mostly, just to clear his head.
“Who is this girl?” he wonders. “What will my life be after this?”
His nervousness shows as he wrings his hands and walks back and forth on the same spot.The same fears are running through her head.
But she sees something about this boy that makes her want to approach him.She can’t quite place her finger on why.
“Everything happens for a reason” – she tells herself as she quietens her mind and takes the five steps to reach him.
She walks up to him and taps. Her approaching footsteps draw him from out of his daze.
He turns around to see who is coming.
There’s a smile on their faces as they lay eyes on each other for the very first time – shy but with a hint of relief.“He seems nice.” she thinks to herself.
And in the silence of the morning sun, they hold hands and lock eyes as no words are needed to express what they feel in their hearts. They walk around the space, tracing the steps that they would make when the crowd will eventually arrive.
But for now, in this rare moment of peace, the boy and the girl are being just that, a boy and a girl.