Hello, everyone! It has been too long since the last post. Just a quick update before I delve into the main content of this post, I am officially done with my second year at university! Technically, I’m still waiting for my overall results which will be out next week.
On a lighter note, I’m happy to announce that I’m finally back in town for summer break and there’s a lot of exciting things to look forward to, so I hope that will compensate my last hiatus!
And now, on with The Growth Series!
For starters, I’m not usually secretive when it comes to sharing my work aside from collaborative projects, but this particular series was different.
It all started with a challenge to myself, which was to shoot film photographs based on a theme. As a spontaneous person – and most especially as a spontaneous film photographer – this posed a great challenge, one that I was admittedly reluctant to take. After much rumination, I asked for the help of a dearest friend of mine, Syafi Bakar, to whom I am truly grateful for.
During our trip to Amsterdam earlier this year, I’ve always known that I wanted to curate a series of film photographs to depict our sense of purpose and our innate desire to grow and build something – or anything – out of ourselves. This became the foundation for my first theme-based project, Growth, and the fervent search for inspiration began.
From one place to another, my disappointment for the lack of inspiration started to manifest.
But when I stopped looking, inspiration gradually flooded in while we were walking through Ten Katemarkt, a bustling street market in Amsterdam, with vendors selling good local food and fresh flowers. That was exactly when my eyes caught a bunch of eucalyptus beckoning towards me.
Eucaplyptus is well known for its medicinal uses. Contrary to its healing quality, it is also highly flammable. In this series, the eucalyptus represents our characteristics that distinguish us from other living beings; our ability to help others in need and our malleable nature towards our worldly and spiritual experiences. And these experiences allow us to grow exponentially in ways that can only be perceived by attuning one’s eyes to the harmony and discord of our main constituents; the heart, the mind and the soul.
For if we were born to be stagnant, how can we ever move forward?
The human subjects closely holding the eucalyptus in a glass bottle represents their grip on the characteristics (the eucalyptus) that make them human and the glass bottle symbolises our subconscious need to protect these characteristics from diminishing.
While it is ultimately up to us to decide whether we want to hold on or to let go of these characteristics, there is no denying that we are meant to learn, to strive, and to grow.
After all, we were born not to be stagnant.
Camera: Pentax K1000 with a 50mm lens.
Film: Kodak Portra 160.
I hope that was worth the wait. Once again, special thanks to Syafi for helping me out with this shoot.
Before I go, I would like to take this chance to wish everyone well and Ramadhan Kareen to those observing!
Until next time.