In Taiwan, as in many countries, perfroming mandatory military service has been considered as a kind of “rite of passage” from boy to man. The man who has served in the army is a “real man”, additionally, a real adoult who can carry responsibilites commited by the society.
The training of military intends to make a “boy” fully know the role he has to play as a male, as well as his responsibilites, behavior and thought required by the society. He will become a real man only when he has passed all the trainings and test in the military and has reached the standard of a male-role defined by the society, like being brave, strong and fighting fit…
In general, a boy must become a “man” at first, in order to be recognized as an adoult. In other words, gender identity is an important reference to define the social state of a human being.
Background story of the submitted works is based on the true experiences of a Taiwanese boy who was experiencing the process of attending in the army. This is not just a documentary of an event or an issue, but a series of conceptual photography in order to reflect the emotional aspect of a boy who is becoming a man. Among the photos, one can hardly see the face of the boy, however, his true feeling and emotion are revealed through dreamlike color schemes.
With this series of work, The Journey into Mannhood, Kan Yihao means to say that a man can make a masculine appreance to match the socal expectation, while his mind and soul remains feminine. There is no absolute definition of gender. Masculine and Femine are allowed to be in the same body of a human being.