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Scent Camera



Directed by 浩 臣 李| Reviewed by Rupanjali 

This is a story about the transformational journey of a woman and eventually finding her true self in the process. The short and crisp video titled “Yiren” directed by 浩 臣 李 has been inspired by the famous book “Book of Songs Jianjia”. The Chinese word ‘Yiren’ is a flower that grows in Moshang. Over the years, this flower came to be associated with beautiful women and stands as a symbol of all beautiful things. The particular sentence from the book that the director has drawn inspiration from is “The so-called Iraqi people are on the waterside”. 

Just like the blooming of a flower is a form of organic transformation, this one-minute-long video is about a young woman and her transformation from a pure, little girl to a beautiful, independent woman. Hence, the title of this video, that is ‘Yiren’, has been appropriately chosen by the director. The story revolves around the woman and her encounters with different people, including family, friends, and lovers, during the different stages of her transformation, her interactions with them, and the influence that they have on her. The video progresses as the now grown-up woman revisits scenes or memories from her past and captures them using her scent camera. The woman uses a scent camera to capture the fragrance of her growing age, and eventually awakens to become more brave and independent. 

The video includes a compilation of several small and crisp cut-shots depicting each stage of transformation. The director has used a warm gradient, including colors such as golden, yellow-occur, and brown while presenting the early stage to impart a sense of purity. The stage of adolescence has been shown by using a soft tone including colors such as white and green. The stage where the lady pursues a romantic relationship has a pink-purple gradient exhibiting a tone of blooming infatuation. The next stage where the woman is in association with her loved one has been presented using the red-black gradient to impart a romantic tone. 

The director struck a perfect balance between the tone and mood by incorporating appropriate background scores that run alongside the course of the transforming woman while breathing life into the audience. He started with a soft tune, gradually increasing the tempo as well as the intensity as the video progressed.

The director has rather cleverly introduced objects and characters that perfectly associate themselves with each stage. For instance, he used a comb and grandmother in the first stage, flowers and leaves, and a friend in the next, an adolescent boy and a secret gift thereafter, and finally a man and a hand fan. This is one of the marvelous incorporations that binds the audience for its realism. 

As the video comes to an end, the woman has an epiphany that the scent that she was trying to chase and capture all along was none other than herself. In the last scene where the woman is the central cast, we can find that she continuously makes eye contact with the audience, breaks the fourth wall, and connects with the audience. This is when the woman is at her best, brave and independent, and inspires the audience to be like her. 

This short video is nothing less than a work of wonder wherein it inspires women time and again to break out of the shackles of society and establish themselves as independent, contributing individuals of the same thereof.

Rupanjali Pramanik, born in Asansol, passed schooling from Loreto Convent and completed Masters with Linguistics from Jadavpur University. She is an enthusiast and eager to explore. She is presently the Editor-in-Chief of Cult Critic Magazine. She is a trained classical dancer and won many awards in this stream. She is also a passionate actor.


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