Through explorations of light and its symbolism, caesura has been a vehicle for me to process change over the past year, working through physical, mental and emotional dissonance.
I became a nocturnal creature in October 2020 to be a part of the Creative Practices program at the International Center of Photography. Given the pandemic, classes were conducted in real-time online. The 12-hour time difference between New York and Singapore (where I live) meant that I had to reverse my sleep-wake cycle. Our bodies’ internal clocks are largely affected by the presence of light, explaining why we sleep at night. Fighting this natural rhythm unsurprisingly led to bodily and psychological displacement. My consciousness ceaselessly played catch-up in this oneiric reality.
I found myself living in eerie quiet and solitude, the sunless backdrop serving as the spark for this work. It started as slow wanderings in the dead of night, in search of light sources. Since I hardly saw the sun, I yearned to find a substitute. My deprivation of sunlight turned the tangible and intangible into blurry fragments that slowly coalesced into images. Using film, I embraced the longer image-making process, holding the shutter open for minutes at a time. Transitory spaces became my destination and contemplation a constant. When artificial light no longer satisfied, I sacrificed sleep to see the sun and photograph in its splendour. Adopting a converse approach to the nighttime images, I began to chase light to capture it before it disappeared. The presence of light illuminates darkness, akin to the clarity I gained in my questioning.
caesura does not offer a tidy resolution to the concerns raised. Instead, it invites viewers to question perception and inertia to change amidst obscurity, all while following the light.