Tired of life, the dreamer takes a nap. In her unconscious world she meets dream, who brings her into its time capsule. They revisit their childhood times that were filled with happiness and laughter. How life was simple but rich, pure but contented. Dream reminds dreamer that whenever she feels like giving up, remember where and how she started. She is, a dreamer with dream.
As attachment grows, dreamer finds it tough to withdraw from the unconscious world. She contemplates if she should leave. She might not see dream again. It lets go of her assuringly, whispers,
“Wide-eyed walker, don’t betray me
I will wake one day, don’t delay me
Wide-eyed leaver, always going”
These photos are mainly taken by me during my overseas trip and photography hangouts with friends. I decided to give a very personal take on this project, portraying the struggle I have been facing. They were composed with Photoshop to create an illusional world with dramatic hue, saturation and distortion.
It was overall an very exciting project to work on, especially to be able to thread my photos collection together into a representation of my dream. By including captions to the composition gave a direction flow, while music builds an atmospheric mood around the audiences.
Frost discusses the two human characteristics, desire and hate, with extreme. Either with desire passionate as fire or hate cold as ice, they are equally destructive to the world. This is my take on the poem.
Images are to be viewed from top to down, conjoined by thin threads if you would take a closer look. It all started in a human’s mind.
One person is all it takes. Desire for existence.
Rise of a new empire becomes the fall of another.
Hatred crawls and swallows the living slowly, corroding its soul.
Ruins stays on to remind thousands of sacrifice, and would suffice.
*All photos were taken by me
Photo sequence begins with a face, flows down to two human emotions – desire (left) and hatred (right) which are tied together through the doors of connector (center). Both emotions are placed at the same level for an equality of presence. It is completed with the shot of rubbles – the aftermath of powerful emotion collision by human beings. White threads (drawn digitally) outline the complexity of one’s thoughts. Prose is written below every still images to help viewer understand better.
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi
It only takes one person’s idea to disseminate to the community. The power of unity then intensifies the emotions – desire/hatred, surges through everyone’s mind with belief. It is unstoppable, inevitable. A desire to change or create causes the other end to balance out with suppression. Therefore we can say that fire and ice tie in strongly with each other, both capable of creating chaos and ruins to the world.
As we look at the 21st century world, fire and ice are constantly colliding. Wars have cornered refugees to fled from their homelands, by sea and land. Here, the desire of political groups fighting to conquer lands has sprouted hatred amidst countries. 300,000 refugees (as of August 2015, according to UNHCR) flocking to Europe are the result of fire and ice.
I was busy growing up until I realised, so much has changed. A decade later, most of my childhood friends have already moved, the playground we used to hang out is tearing down soon. We are all grown ups now. Have you ever been struck with a sudden assertion, that we are already embarking onto a new life journey?
Photos were taken with extreme long shot and extreme close-up compositions. First shot was intended to capture the landscape, which creates an overview outline for the following shots. The rest are taken with extreme close-up to create personal intimacy with the viewer.
Object, kanken // Adventure
I decided to use my backpack as the signifier of adventure for its traits – sturdy and functional. It has travelled with me around the world for two years. We met new people, got lost (very often) and been through bad and good episodes together. Here, you can see me exploring the space with my bag. Like the kanken, I want to be ever ready and flexible in seizing new opportunities ahead of me.
Photos were taken with long and low angle compositions. To show the relationship between me and the bag, long shot is used to capture the interactions. Last photo is taken at low angle to put emphasis on the bag while keeping me in frame subtly at the back.
My World // See it yourself
Old place, new beauty. I went with a fantasy approach to present a mundane part of Singapore in a hypnotic way. This series invited me to explore space in an alternate perspective. With gut feeling, you might discover something others have missed. So there you have it, a world of your own.
Photos were taken with long shot, rule of third, extreme close up and high angle compositions. Since the location is huge with random trees and architectures, I decided to crop the first photo (taken in long shot) to eliminate distractions. Also, second and third photo are filtered black and white to taper optical focus into primitive shapes and shadows of objects. The fourth photo is shot with extreme close up and last one is cropped to instil mysterious mood for the viewers.
Selection of compositions is very important to create the right mood before you can convey your messages through the objects. Framing photos in sequence can manipulate viewer’s eyes to follow the story flow, be it horizontally or vertically.
Self curation made me understand that everyone grow up in our own unique ways – it’s like existing on earth in different shapes and colours. Be up for adventures, soar through the air until you find the perfect landing.
Sally Mann is one of my favourite abstract art photographer. Extreme close up composition and monochrome are ultilised to focus on texture and shape of the objects.
Martin Parr‘s photo series of The Georgia State Fair (2010) draws me attention with its natural and candid poses of the protagonists. He composed with close up shot with head and body to show interaction of the human and object.
Cindy Sherman‘s Kitchen series shows housewives working in the kitchen. Her eyes seem to be looking away from the camera, looking distracted as she carried on with housework. Sherman also made use of body language to convey the activities of the character she role played in.
To guide viewer through my sequence, I divided them into three column, but near enough to continue the flow of the story. It is placed along the staircase with intention for viewer to walk through the journey with me, from left to right. The sequence gradually descends with the staircase at the viewer’s eye level. This eventually leads to the white wall, an empty canvas for individual to continue the story with imagination.
The feedback from my peers suggested that the last photo of first series (close up shot of wrist in monochrome) was unclear to connect with the next series. This was perhaps due to my lack of presentation skill to perpetuate from first to second series.
Overall, My World series was most well-liked by my classmates. I guess these photos had brought them to a fantasy world, away from the busy and stressful reality for a while.