Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Joana Chomali | Resilients

Photo © Joana Chomali-All Rights Reserved

Perhaps because of my work-in-progress documenting the spirit mediums of Vietnam, which involves colorful exotic and ethnic costumery, my appreciation of "ethno-fashion" portraiture has grown exponentially during the past few months of my travel photography path.

This explains my attraction to the portraits made by Joana Chomali, a photographer born and raised in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), of young, professional African women who -like her- were having difficulty to connect with their families' traditional past. According to The New York Times, each portrait session involved research on how the clothes, jewelry, skin and hair needed to be styled based on the specific tribe the models' families were originally from.

Resilients is a gallery of 9 wonderful portraits of women wearing their traditional dresses of colorful silk fabric; some with circular tribal markings on their skins, and wearing layers of beaded jewelry. The backdrop and the studio lights used by Ms Chomali are designed to give an Old Master feel to the portraits.

Joana Choumali is a fine art photographer based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. She studied Graphic Arts in Casablanca (Morocco) and worked as an Art Director in an advertising agency before embarking on her photography career. Much of her work focuses on Africa, and of the myriad cultures around her.