What lies Within
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Stairwell heading down to the Reliance Theatre
Unity is a series consisting of large format (4×5) and digital self-portrait images in which I envision myself in a safe haven; a vast open field. The location of a vast field is a particular and special place as it is where I dream of being whenever I feel troubled. By appreciating the beautiful landscape, reflections of bodies of water, and nature itself, I start to feel free. Here, I am able to forget all anxieties, conflicts and problems. Here, I am transported to a space with no limitations, obstacles or boundaries. As I become immersed in this fantasized place I start to find a sense of inner peace within. Through authentic, delicate dance-like gestures and relaxing on the field it’s as if I’m finally allowing myself to become one, thus creating a sense of unity.
Installation view: The Show 2023, May 11-25, 2023, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, stairwell heading down to the Reliance Theatre
Other images from the Unity series
The Change in Us, 2022
I’m intrigued by the effect and power a photograph has on us specifically in relation to memory and friendship. However, what happens when we can no longer hold on to those dear to us? In The Change in Us, I revisit archival-charged images investigating the fallout and loss between myself and my friend group.
In this series of works, I try to revive past intimate moments my friend group and I shared through photo manipulation. Once transformed I place the image on carefully replicated backdrops. The images themselves become submerged while extending off of certain elements within the original. The result is my attempt at reimagining and reliving core memories in a fabricated space.
The Change in Us serves as my way of mourning, the loss of connection between my friends and I. While one might deal with severed relationships confrontationally or verbally, I’ve responded artistically fueled by emotion. These altered images express care for myself and my friends at a distance. We are no longer how we were before, however, the interaction between time, space, past images and the present has allowed me to accept the harsh truth of not being able to hold on to those closest to you.
Installation view: Capture X ECUAD: Looking After: Photography as an Act of Care, Apr 2-30, 2023, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Michael O’Brien Exhibitions Commons: Zone 4 1st Floor Gallery
Installation images by Khim Hipol
Other images from The Change in Us series
Home is Where Myself is, 2022
I often find comfort in being alone, although at times I wish for someone to be by my side. In the series, Home is Where Myself is, I conjure up the feeling of what it’s like to be your own best friend.
This series of photographs are taken in the comfort of my own home. I specifically position myself in sites where I feel most myself, such as the bathroom, kitchen, closet and bedroom. Spending ample time in these locations my curiosity takes over. What would it look like to have another person enjoy the same space and activities as me? The feeling of unrequited self-love is something I long to desire, so through photo manipulation, and doubling myself, these fantasized scenarios are brought to life. Through staging, performing and becoming playful in various scenes I become a stand-in for myself, filling the void of absence.
These images of imagined double self-portraits express how the feeling of home starts from within. We can be our own best friend, at times our worst enemy but most importantly, acknowledge that sometimes all we have is ourselves.
Other images from the Home is Where Myself is series
Persona is a self-directed photoshoot series in which I explore my love for fashion. As I cycle and perform through various flamboyant outfits I present a persona that I deem true as opposed to the public sphere. I constantly wrestle with myself as I have trouble identifying hidden qualities of my character, reality, and the world around me. Thus turning the camera inwardly, the self-portraits I create capture thoughts and emotions I would otherwise have difficulty communicating.
Other images from the Persona series
What’s Left Behind, 2023
What’s Left Behind is a new ongoing series in which I explore alternative process photography techniques. Inspired by Amber Lee, my aim is to expand my practice, interests and step outside my normal conventional staged and controlled photography.
In this body of work, I’m interested in the relationship between myself and nature; specifically, how I can use its gifts in collaboration with my art practice. Working on the unceded and traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Coast Salish peoples (Vancouver, BC), I wanted to find an ethical and respectful way of working with the environment by sourcing locally. This would include walking around my neighbourhood, finding and foraging fallen plant and foliage-based materials. Once gathered, I treated the cyanotype-coated photo paper like a science experiment. I’m curious about playing with different materials, and substances, questioning what effect they leave on photographic paper and embracing unpredictability and chance.
Tillandsia Usneoides (2023) cyanolumen, 8″ x 10″
Gifts from the Neighbourhood, 2023
Gifts from the Neighbourhood is an ongoing series exploring location, materiality and experimenting. In this series, I’m interested in what a location, Mount Pleasant, can provide. As I walk around the neighbourhood I photograph images of plant life on 35mm. If possible, I forage severed/fallen versions of the same plants I photographed, which I deem as “gifts,” to be used in the film soup process. After souping film in a natural concoction, the result is a collaboration between nature integrated into the photographic process.
35mm film souped in green tea, lemon juice and foliage from the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood