#LCFClassOf2020 BA Fashion Photography graduate, Hidhir Badaruddin, was recently awarded the coveted UAL International Start-Up Visa which allows students who have completed their degree to remain in the UK and develop their business. Hidhir received guidance from LCF Graduate Futures team leading up to the application process which was rigorous and included a pitch to a panel of judges once shortlisted. His hard work paid off, with UAL now endorsing his VISA for up to 2 years.
He received further exposure when he was recently interviewed by Ashleigh Kane, the Arts & Cultures editor of Dazed Magazine on his Final Major Project with his photography work also showcased in the article. Dazed were interested in finding out the inspiration behind Hidhir’s project and his photography work.
With his final project, a photo series entitled ‘Younglawa’, Hidhir wanted to create work that developed on both themes of Asian identity and masculinity and to challenge ideas and paradigms of Asian masculinity. He noticed a gap in the media and wanted to explore the under-representation of queer, brown males in his photography.
“I wanted to convey how diverse and multifaceted Asian masculinity can be”
In particular, he wanted to challenge gender expectations and the traditional perception of “the Asian man”. His aim was to show this in a visual way, and he realised that if he wanted this perception to change, he had to be the creator of this change.
Hidir also observed that there weren’t many brown Asian males fronting fashion campaigns but believes that this is now changing citing Gucci as an example of a brand paving the way
“Asian identity isn’t just one look. It is really diverse and more brands are now demonstrating this in their campaigns”
Hidhir’s work resonated with Dazed particularly in the very fluid and organic way his project was created. In the article Hidhir explains how important the medium of Photography is for him as a way to express himself and in particular, to share his own story and the colourism he encountered growing up in Singapore. Although Covid-19 happened during Hidhir’s final project, he has been able to demonstrate real resilience by not allowing things to get in the way of what he has wanted to achieve, “We are now looking at Media in a new angle, everything is in re-set and we can look at things with a new perspective moving forwards and we can look at identity in a new light”.
The Dazed article has been great exposure for Hidhir and since its publication Vice Magazine have also expressed an interest in collaborating with him. He plans to expand on his photo series, with new and exciting opportunities to come. We wish him every success on his journey!