Project 1: Picture Story – Curating Self

Myself, My Roots and My Heritage


Component 1 : Me


My component 1 talks about me as a person and my desire for self-discovery. From young, I have a huge child-like obsession over stuffed toys, especially animals and this became a part of my personality till this day. However, I still feel that there’s more to me than that, so the other 2 pictures depicts my emotions and desire about myself. As they say “eyes are the windows to the soul”, I am still confused or insecure at times whether certain behavior or speech is part of my personality, and the best way the emotion can be shown is through my eyes. But it still does not deny the fact that no matter my appearance, my personality remains constant, and this is what makes people unique in their own way, despite our doubts and insecurities. It shows a moment where I am trying to reveal and discover my full potential and personality.

Topmost picture was inspired by Cindy Sherman in which she adverts the gaze from the camera, and leaves the viewer curious about what she is staring at.


Component 2: Object and representation of self

I chose an apple as my significant object as my Chinese name is written with the Chinese character “ping” from “ping guo”, how we say apple in Chinese. The significance of my Chinese name allows me to dig into the roots of how and why my Chinese name was chosen, maybe from the term “apple of my eye” as I was the only child in my family, or maybe it could be because it was easy to write. The desire to know the meaning and significance of my Chinese name and roots leads to the dissection of it, as shown through the other 2 pictures.

These pictures have been inspired by Wolfgang Tillman’s candid shots of people doing everyday chores. He also utilizes  the flash to create extra emphasis in his subject matter, which i have applied to my photos as well.


Component 3 : My World

Ever since the death of my father 10 years ago, i have been praying at temples to reconnect with my father in heaven. The Thian Hock Keng Temple is a significant place to me, where I was able to go and pray for my studies or whenever I feel at unease. It connects to my religious roots as somewhere I can send my prayers to and feel at ease after. My mother also prays at that temple and it allows her a platform to convey her wishes and prayers. Incense is extremely important when praying, as lighting an incense stick represents respect and a sign of prayer to the god that you pray to in the temple. The smell of the smoke is said to calm the spirits and the soul as well, and every time I pray, I would light an incense stick, bow in front of the altar and then proceed to put the incense stick in the pot to let it continue burning. Many people come by the temple to pray to the different gods, and the pots are always filled with many incense sticks at the end of each day, with many prayers conveyed, including mine.