Humans of Harker: Getting real about realism

Catherine Wang values authenticity in the art she sees and makes

%22I+started+following+Kpop+idols+more+these+days+because+there%E2%80%99s+more+of+a+human+aspect.+If+you+get+something+just+straight+from+the+imagination%2C+like+in+anime+or+something%2C+sometimes+they+just+start+repeating.+I+like+seeing+actors+because+there%E2%80%99s+no+way+for+then+to+copy.+Due+to+a+lot+of+circumstances+like+plot+and+the+actual+capabilities+of+the+actors+themselves%2C+each+scene+they+act+is+going+to+look+different.+So+I+really+appreciate+that.+And+the+camera+work%2C+if+you+mash+all+those+together%2C+usually+it%E2%80%99ll+come+out+with+something+different%2C%22+Catherine+Wang+%2812%29+said.
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Humans of Harker: Getting real about realism

"I started following Kpop idols more these days because there’s more of a human aspect. If you get something just straight from the imagination, like in anime or something, sometimes they just start repeating. I like seeing actors because there’s no way for then to copy. Due to a lot of circumstances like plot and the actual capabilities of the actors themselves, each scene they act is going to look different. So I really appreciate that. And the camera work, if you mash all those together, usually it’ll come out with something different," Catherine Wang (12) said.

Laura Wu

"I started following Kpop idols more these days because there’s more of a human aspect. If you get something just straight from the imagination, like in anime or something, sometimes they just start repeating. I like seeing actors because there’s no way for then to copy. Due to a lot of circumstances like plot and the actual capabilities of the actors themselves, each scene they act is going to look different. So I really appreciate that. And the camera work, if you mash all those together, usually it’ll come out with something different," Catherine Wang (12) said.

Laura Wu

Laura Wu

"I started following Kpop idols more these days because there’s more of a human aspect. If you get something just straight from the imagination, like in anime or something, sometimes they just start repeating. I like seeing actors because there’s no way for then to copy. Due to a lot of circumstances like plot and the actual capabilities of the actors themselves, each scene they act is going to look different. So I really appreciate that. And the camera work, if you mash all those together, usually it’ll come out with something different," Catherine Wang (12) said.

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Turning side-to-side on her stool in the art room, Catherine Wang (12) smiles as she starts to talk about one of her passions: J-dramas. While society often labels all TV shows as mindless and the same, Catherine prefers Japanese shows over others because of their relatability and the unique people they present.

“I became more interested in something more natural,” she said. “In Japanese dramas, I just see [the actors] and they look like regular people. Maybe it’s because my beauty standards are skewed and they’re actually technically really handsome or beautiful in Japan. But to me, they look like normal people and so when I see them act and stuff, it seems really realistic.”

She used to really enjoy watching Korean drama, but because the same storyline and actors kept showing up, she slowly become bored of them.

“The reason I watch Japanese ones versus Korean ones is because with Korean ones, there’s always that same plot line and it kind of frustrates me, especially since they’re so popular that it makes me feel like I should like them, but I don’t,” she said. “[The actors] also always have really beautiful features and stuff but then sometimes they’re portraying regular people, like people who have part time jobs or college students and you’re like, ‘Well, they don’t have to look that pretty. It’s kind of unrealistic.’”

She thinks that since people tend to base their works on what is popular, many motifs are repeated.

“For animations, especially for anime, it’s really repetitive and the fight scenes are always like “Wow!” You zoom into this guy, then you zoom out again and then, he throws a punch, that sort of thing,” she said. “If you get something just straight from the imagination, like in anime, sometimes they just start repeating.”

Instead, she now looks for a “human aspect” in shows that she watches.

“I like seeing actors because there’s no way for then to copy,” she said. “If they want to purposely copy someone’s movement, they can, but due to a lot of circumstances like plot and the actual capabilities of the actors themselves, each scene they act is going to look different. So I really appreciate that. And the camera work, if you mash all those together, usually it’ll come out with something different.”

Looking back at her own drawing, she recognizes that similar to show producers, she also has repetition in her work.

“I used to really like drawing humans and characters, but my mind super restricted so I could only draw them in certain poses,” she said. “If you don’t understand human anatomy, if you don’t know exactly how the joints, like your legs, how far it can bend backward or stuff, you often just draw them in the same pose. So then, when you look back to what you draw, it all looks kind of stiff and predictable.”

This semester she strived to work on creating new and different pieces.

“To avoid that, in art, we just have to draw from life, [and] that’s a self goal. It hasn’t really helped me yet because I haven’t done a lot of them,” she said. “I have a goal of mine of a skill level that I want to be, and as long as I follow those things, then I will be able to reach it. But that’s just a skill level thing, not a creativity thing.”

For the first time, she recently created a digital piece of art about favorite variety show “2 Days, 1 Night”: one that she also labels as realistic.

“They always saying ‘Oh, we don’t have a script’ and they’re just fooling around,” she said. “Even though their personalities are all completely different and [there’s an] age difference, they all seem really comfortable in what they’re doing because the show allows them to be that. They don’t have to follow a script. If they have a super unique personality, then it’s always shown on camera.”

Something else that’s unique is that they show the behind the scenes: setting-up or transitions between locations.

“When the camera cuts, they often show them traveling on the bus from one location to another location or when they cut they actually don’t cut: you see them changing outfits or putting on their mics,” she said. “Before episodes, they would show their group chats and refer back to old episodes.”

She especially appreciates the fact that they show the tech people and producers.

“They’re really close with the production crew, [and] the show actually highlights that. We always know what the main PD’s name is and the helicam director’s. There’s also a light director that always acts as a referee. When they play games, he comes in that a referee and they call him the international referee, but he has no qualifications; he’s just there acting,” she said. “I think it’s because of the community they built; all of them have a role to play.”