Growing up, I have always loved flowers. However, it was through watching anime where I was exposed to the idea of using flowers symbolically to unveil a deeper meaning. This is what inspired me to create this visual metaphor. I explore the themes of femininity and self-love, using the natural world as a metaphor for the deeply personal and complex experiences of being a woman. Through the use of flowers, botanicals, and portals, these photographs create a surreal world that reflects the beauty, strength, and complexity of the female body.
My sister is portrayed in the photographs, as I have learned to develop a sense of self-love and embrace my femininity through her. The flowers and botanicals represent the delicate, yet resilient nature of women, with each species symbolizing a different aspect of the two themes. They are symbols of growth, change, and transformation, mirroring the experiences women go through in their lives. On the other hand, the portals serve as a metaphor for the introspective journey towards self-love and acceptance that women undertake. It offers a window into one’s inner world, a space where reflection upon their emotions and experiences can occur. It also symbolizes the transformative power of self-exploration and acceptance, which is a challenging journey but fruitful nonetheless.
Kayley Qi is a photography student based in Toronto, Canada. Her work explores the relationship between humans, flowers, and botanical elements, with a particular focus on the representation of femininity and self-love. Through her photographs, she hopes to encourage viewers to embrace their femininity and celebrate their individuality.