Empowering Angles with Tasha Tong
Written by Ndemazea Fonkem
Published Aug. 3, 2018
Photo by Nicolee Fox
If the modern world could be mapped out like a city, there would be an intersection between Art Avenue and Activism Lane. On that intersection, there would be a beautiful yet humble home on the corner of the block, and there would reside Tasha Tong.
Tong credits her biggest influence to the photographer and writer Nirrimi Firebrace. “I first found her work when I was around 16 or 17, and absolutely fell in love with it, and her writing,” said Tong. “I think that [Firebrace’s] work influenced me pretty subconsciously because I didn’t always start off with photographing people like I do now.”
Although she turned onto Activism Lane only after becoming familiar with Art Avenue, Tong’s messages conveys come forth with equal weight.
The issue she focuses on primarily is cracking through the glass ceiling and taking steps to remove the male-centric power structure ingrained in our society. In other words, smashing the patriarchy. “I feel that creating is also a political act for me in many different ways: a way to voice my thoughts and opinions, to resist patriarchal power structures, and to explore portrayals of people, particularly womxn, through photography,” Tong explained. By shooting various women in different environments, Tong uses her voice to elevate the diverse community of femmes that she belongs to.
The Malaysian-born artist just recently relocated to Perth, Australia. With the move, she experienced a total reinvention of her creative process. The environment she is native to has had a large impact on Tong’s artistry. The changes have left a positive effect on her creative growth.
“I think that I’ve grown more resilient as an artist and realized that I should create for myself and not what anyone else might expect of me. I’m interested in exploring making meaning through my work, and intertwining my passion for social issues with my passion for photography.”
Stay up to date with her photography and activism through her Instagram.
See the rest of the articles from issue three here