Sunday, September 03, 2006

Looking in ... Not

My close friends and my mentor see a disjoint in my photographs. In spite of the knowledge that I have gained recently and the improvement in my technique, there seems to be something not quite right with the images.

They probably can see the distance I have between me and the images that I am taking. What does that mean??

I was engaged to be married and called it off just over a year ago now. I have broken off relationships before but breaking off an engagement caused a fundamental change in me. I have always been a romantic at heart and probably was too naive for my own good. Breaking off an engagement was not like breaking off with a girlfriend. It was not like oh we cannot get along and then it ended. Planning to get married and stopping meant that fundamentally, something I believed in was wrong, and it hurt like hell. I believed in the goodness of people and that love can conquer the obstacles that most normal couples face. (OK, let's not get dramatic here and dream up war or plague scenarios.) I guess that emotionally I have been devastated and I have dug a deep hole and buried my emotions so that I don't have to confront the pain.

Perhaps not all my previous work was based on romantic love, there was also a lot of awe in dance motion and attitude of drama. But all my best work came from me connecting with my emotions. The way I used to shoot was based on being connected with myself. And it has been too painful to connect up to now. I think that I am finally able to move on. It has been a while and I feel awkward, like a person recovering from a major illness, but I have never lost hope. Or maybe I just do not know what else to do. But after the break-up, I did not want to sink into depression. I was at a point in my career where I had a lot of new things to learn. I have spent my time honing my photographic skills. I threw myself at work and at all aspects of photography, preparing for the day I can once again open up my heart. Going to Chicago for internship was an amazing experience, so was that holiday to Rajasthan. But I know that a part of me was unreachable. And if there are a few astute people out there who know my old work say to me,"Ngiap Heng I cannot see you in these photographs.", I can only say that I was not there.

Thanks to all the people who really care for me and wish me well. I know fully the issue that faces me. Not only have I taken steps to improve my technical photography, I have also been working on the way I look at life and live. But guys, there is no instant cure for this recovery. Just like any major illness or injury, its going to take me time.

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