There’s No Space Left in C# Minor

And at long last, here we are.

Over a year in the making: my first truly personal piece of film.

This is a piece unfettered by brand briefs or editorial restrictions or any real third party opinion for that matter. To allow cognitive imagery to flow unfiltered, if you will, is equally liberating and terrifying in its closeness to my person. I didn’t sleep for two days before my first director’s cut screening in Los Angeles, and was just as nervous for the one in New York, which is new for me. In life, I’ve been trained to be unapologetically brazen and confident in my work. But it is a very different thing to believe in and hold out your work as an extension of yourself, than it is to hold out, simply, yourself. In Chinese there is a phrase, 想开 (xiǎng kāi) – get over it, my Mother would say growing up (mostly in relation to perceived public failures) – don’t take it to heart. That’s near impossible when you bare your soul, naked and vulnerable in an oversaturated and harsh terrain of judgment.

Yet, authenticity also means that none of that matters. This film was not made for other people – it was for me to express as exactly as possible how I see sound. Of course, it also represents an intersection of my passions (though I hate the word) and skills that have to date been cultivated quite separately – concurrently, but separately.

But out of the fray, piano remains my first great love.

I think we as a society make a habit of relying on collective indications on how your body should react in an individual experience – when really the answer is always in the individual. Whether it be some person, some trauma, some image, we all, at some point, unknowingly encounter some thing that defines our own spectrum of feeling. So when I say that my musical studies throughout childhood have informed all of my subsequent work in ballet, photography, art direction and now motion direction; I mean that music taught me how to feel, and everything I touch creatively is driven by emotion – sometimes to an irrational degree.

 

STYLING CREDITS _

ACT I // Dion Lee top, Kailis earrings

ACT II // Margaret wears: Margiela bodysuit, Streateas Carlucci corset, Rachel Gilbert skirt, Tony Bianco shoes // Kirsty wears: Louis Vuitton // Hannah wears: Prada // Amberley wears: Dion Lee // Ella, Julia and Jena wear: Gucci // Sophia wears: For Love & Lemons // Akiima wears Zimmermann and Christopher Esber // Headwear by Christie Nicolaides // Eyewear by Barton Perreira

ACT III // Margaret wears: Camilla and Marc, DVF, Bassike, A.L.C., Sleeping with Jacques, Nanushka

About

Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese filmmaker, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Zhang has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Zhang’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NOWNESS, and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for four consecutive years. CNN has identified Zhang as a leading fashion photographer in Asia and ELLE named her the region’s most influential digital voice. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim. In 2018, co-curated the first annual FOREFRONT Summit focused on inter-industry problem-solving at all scales of business. From this king summit, Zhang developed FOREFRONT+ – a round table series of candid conversations covering subject matters of universal concern. In 2019, THE FACE Magazine engaged Zhang as Creative-Director-at-Large for Asia for its relaunch. Zhang is currently working on her first feature film.