Xiaohan Lu, an accomplished photographer, has recently unveiled her latest masterpiece, “Premiere Mediocre.” This captivating collection draws inspiration from her extensive experience collaborating with numerous models and influencers. Lu’s profound realization struck a chord: the stark contrast between individuals’ glamorous social media personas and their actual everyday selves. Eager to capture this stark reality, she skillfully employs her lens to reflect and portray this phenomenon.
“Premiere Mediocre” emerged as a phrase I encountered in a book, describing the marketing tactic that fabricates the impression of opulence in consumers’ lives”, elucidated Lu. With a distinct approach, she employed the language of fashion photography to delve into the realm of how young individuals indulge in luxury products, specifically how these possessions are utilized to curate their online personas.
In her artistic vision, Lu devised a poignant scenario where the girl positioned against the blue backdrop instinctively glances to her left, mirroring the real-life inclination of individuals striving to observe themselves through the lens of social media. Lu highlighted that the attainment of the coveted “premiere” status often relies on meticulous makeup and extravagant attire. However, she encountered a perplexing challenge in visualizing the concept of “mediocre” – finding an embodiment of moderate or average quality proved to be an arduous task.
Instead of incorporating mundane elements into her compositions, Lu opted for utilizing food as props during her shoots. Her rationale behind this choice stemmed from the belief that daily food items, like sandwiches or sausages, hold an essential role in most people’s lives. Through their inclusion, Lu sought to vividly depict the concept of “mediocre” as something neither inherently good nor bad—a fitting representation of the ordinary aspects of life. The models adorned themselves with either luxurious designer bags or casual shopping bags, yet paradoxically, they found themselves indulging in food at highly conspicuous locations within their poses.
In addition to the use of sausages, Lu creatively incorporated other commonly encountered objects like shrimp shells, lollipops, and popcorn. These artistic choices facilitated a striking collision between the realms of “premiere” and “mediocre”, amplifying the visual impact of her work.
In order to achieve a visually striking effect, Lu captured the models against vibrant backgrounds infused with vivid pinks, purples, greens, and blues. “The three selected models were all influential figures on RED, and coincidentally, they were also my real-life friends. When choosing the background colors, I took into consideration their content styles and personal preferences, aligning the tones with their individual aesthetics.” She states.