My social debate image inspiration comes from the world’s first Taniwha and Dragon Festival, a celebration of the bonds between Maori and Chinese people. In the festival, Auckland’s Chinese community were formally welcomed with a pòwhiri on to Òràkei Marae by Ngàti Whàtua warriors and whànau, and accompanied by a dancing Chinese dragon. I was a witness for this wonderful event and took lot of photos. Maori and Chinese can builds understanding and empathy as they have a shared experience of being discriminated against in New Zealand. According to a 2012 report (Working Together: Racial discrimination in New Zealand), Asian has the highest levels of racial discrimination, followed by Maori. The intended communication objective is to construct an image that will celebrate the bonds between Maori and Chinese people and build understanding with their cultural diversity.
I took a hongi image between a Maori-chef and a China old man in the festival. It is a very harmony picture which I would like to manipulate to reflect the bonds between the Maori and Chinese people. From the photos I took at the event, I look for the Maori and Chinese elements that represent the cultural tradition. Chinese dragon dance, a Marae and warrior are composed into the image. I have tried many different compositions. I used the layer mask as the non-destructive method to mask the portion that I don’t want on the image. I found that removing the background around lots of hair of the warrior is a bit challenging. I have watched a lot of Youtube videos regarding different methods that remove background around fine hair. I found one easy and quick method of doing that, especially using it against a light background in this image. I used part of the dragon to make the tattoo for the Chinese man to match the tattoo of the Maori-chef. The dragon tattoo was desaturated and put on the face of the Chinese man using the multiply layer mode. The background of the hongi image has been masked out and the background of the final image is using the background of the dragon dancing image. The hongi image with 70% opacity and with a Channel mixer applied to it is the dominant element that occupies 70% of the image and it gives a big impact for the viewer. Overall the image achieves my intended purpose of celebrating the bonds between Maori and Chinese people and build understanding with their cultural diversity.