It has been several months since my last log. The last time I wrote about how I’m slowly finding my identity as a photographer and artist. I find my work veering toward the broad genre of minimalism. Just to share a little excerpt from Wikipedia, “In visual arts, music, and other mediums, minimalism is an art movement that began in post World War II western art, most strongly with American visual arts in the 1960s and early 1970s.”. I have been working on my photography these past months, exploring and making images that were more literal in the sense of the word, Minimalism. Slowly, I’m understanding minimalism as a philosophy and concept in my work. I have been thinking that my work must diversify and not be caught in that one dimensional mindset. So I think I have to be very attuned to balancing the application and conceptual thinking when taking the photographs. I do keep myself very aware not to step into that web of taking things too literally (a lesson painfully learnt during my days in Art School). Having a story to tell is perhaps the strongest way to express the image to the viewers. It takes a lot of consideration and a lot of shoots to produce one strong image, the composition, the lighting, the subjects, the mood and the setting. So that is where my photography is headed currently, with the gradual understanding of minimalism, applying it to many genres of photography and slowly crafting and piecing my identity and style as a photographer. Never stop pursuing what you love and log your hardships, for in those times where we suffer the most, is where stories come out from, and what defines us as an unique individual in this world where people are pursuing other’s success. Be your own authentic self and create!
So it would be safe to say that every Creative faces this. What is my identity as an artist? We begin by looking at other people’s work and say, “Yeah, I can do that, I can paint that, I can picture this.”, next we create a portfolio and think we are on the right track, then we spiral into a state of confusion, asking ourselves, “Where is this all going?”. I certainly faced all of that as a photographer, asking myself, how do others and I identify my work. Truth is, it is a long and arduous journey of self discovery as well as constantly learning from others and exposing oneself to his/her environment. Nothing comes to anyone without hard work. Success is a long road less taken. I have decided to take up photography as a profession that is driven by a fierce passion to continue to improve and learn. I spent hours upon hours watching videos, practising and evaluating my current portfolio of photos to sift out what are my consistencies and what I identify my personality with. I’m a fairly OCD individual and anyone who looks at the state of my living quarters will agree. Organised chaos am I right? After much study into my body of work, I have figured out that what I was consistent at was the theme of minimalism. I could see it in my portraits, in my landscapes and even in the objects that I choose to shoot. With this direction, I was much clearer in my work flow, in my editing, in what I was looking out for as I shot locations or took portraits for people. I always had minimalism in mind. I was subconscious to it at first but now awoken to the fact. This is the start of my journey in minimalism and I’m feeling as excited as ever to continue to experiment, document, grow and learn in this journey as I hone my Creative instinct. Thanks for dropping by and see you at the next post.
The hustle and bustle of our city, the city that never sleeps, the city that keeps going and growing, but all of this glitz and glamour of the city is not as what it seems, perhaps we should consider how the city life has driven her society to a result that might not be the ideal. One thing is certain, the state of our city, Singapore has shown her success in a myriad of ways, once a humble community, now a great and thriving city that has made an impact on the world around her and it is something to be proud of. Taking this photo, certain emotions were evoked. This got me thinking about the pace of our society, the people and their living conditions, the lines that are drawn between the absurdly rich and the struggling poor. This is the reality that we have to face that occurs not only in our city but the cities around the world. Industrialism has revolutionised the world. It created jobs and progress around the world, but not everyone could keep up with such a pace. This photo, to me, was a reminder of how we should have greater appreciation for our forefathers, the people who made our future even possible at all. Living through the horrors of war and poor conditions, those footprints set the very foundation of the world we call home today. We dream of world that perhaps the divide will be bridged, where the vicious cycle of the rich and poverty would cease to exist, some may call this communism, but where it stops is the hunger for power, the thirst for more and for everyone to love their Brother and Sister around them. It may seem like an ideal world that only exists in the skies of our dreams but have we stopped and wonder if we began the spin of that reality.
I talked about how documenting and experimenting was integral in a Creative's workflow and I stand by it. Having used the Fujifilm X100F, it was a beast of an everyday shooter. Walking the streets of my city, Singapore, has driven a lot of ideas for upcoming projects. These shots are what captures our eyes but further than a technical practice, it is a visual practice. We train our eyes to see the beauty, the mysterious, the mundane, the broken, in our day to day lives, the composition, the light, every little details matters. Documenting keeps us driven, keeps us looking for more, keeps us fresh and generates the greatest ideas from thin air. I always felt that there should be a continuation to the popular phrase, "the best camera is the one in your hands" , "the best images are ones that keep you driven".
I've recently read Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art". I'll be making more references to his book in future posts. At this point I would like to point out something that resounded with me in a life experience that he shared within the book and that was the process of creating, the process of documenting every little thing never stops. Wrote your award winning screenplay? Good. Write another one. That is some powerful stuff right there, something that we might all have overlooked as artists, writer, photographers, creatives. I suppose one aspect of overcoming a creative block is to keep at it, in our field, practice is key, sharpening our craft every waking moment.
Walking the streets has given me a lot of perspective and a lot of practice. I notice every bit of detail, the sounds, the textures, the smell, the people, the light and how it falls on our concrete jungle. There is an infinite repository of stories waiting to be told, and through this very process of documenting, these stories will surely surface and come to life.
I have always been a photo enthusiast. Since I was young, I always had a neck for tinkering with image capturing devices and once, finished a whole row of film shooting blurred images, not knowing what even happened! I guess that's the beauty in its entirety. We are all very visual beings and I share my story through images then I can with words (probably 90% of the time) but its through all the tinkering and experimentation and the sheer purity of capturing images to share with friends, family and even on the professional scene, we are all telling our stories and through this space, I hope to share my story, taking my photography to a greater level and pursuing and building my dream of making my passion, into a profession to share my own stories and the stories of the masses. Thank you for reading this and I hope you'll embark on this journey with me, with a clear direction in my mind, I hope to bring images that everyone can connect with on a personal level! Always stay creative! Cheers everyone!