AN AUDIO-VISUAL COLLECTION
OF PRECIOUS SECONDS LOST
INSPIRED BY THE SPLIT-SECONDS
THAT SLIP BY IN
HUSTLE AND BUSTLE
China as a place is insane. The hustle and bustle of life here? Crazy. A very big, but very welcome, change from Melbourne.
It's in places like these where one can find those intimate moments that come and go, unseen and unappreciated by many.
FOR ONE MONTH, THIS IS
THE WORLD AS I SAW IT
For a part of my trip through China, I spent large amounts of time alone, wandering the streets. Though the Middle nation is my birth country, previous trips have been sterile, spent visiting relatives, by the side of my parents.
There's something liberating about being out on the street, with a camera in hand, free to wander in any direction you choose, free to take, or not take, any photo you want, without having to worry about other people. I saw so many sights, some beyond description; collected here are some of my favourite moments.
A picture tells a thousand words, so I will leave you to experience the rest of this in relative peace.
WHETHER CANDID OR POSED, THESE SCENES
ALWAYS MAKE ME TAKE A STEP BACK
AND JUST ABSORB
I am incredibly fortunate to have met so many amazing people on my trip. From Hong Kong right up to Beijing, through Shanghai and back, I made new friends; not only locals but people from all around the world, caught up with old friends, and finally put faces to Instagram handles from every point imaginable on my creative journey.
I made human connections, ones that I am sure will last for many, many years to come.
lonely4u is a piece by my good friend Annie (you can find her on Instagram, or on Soundcloud). I first heard this track at one of her end-of-semester performances, and instantly fell in love with it. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to use it as the backing track for my video, and indeed I spent a large amount of time listening to it both before I left and throughout my trip, learning its ebb and flow, trying to figure out the story Annie was telling through her notes, and creating my own meaning as well.
To her, lonely4u is symbolic of its namesake - loneliness. It follows an organic flow, borne of Annie's mind, and represented by the haunting notes of the sole piano as the song progresses. The rising and falling of the melody, she says, feels natural, at least to her; mood swings, happiness, realisation, return. It's a vicious cycle sometimes, and despite all the support in the world, you can still feel like the most lonely person on the planet.
What really resounds with me is that idea of emotion. It's something that I hold close to my heart. Having spent a period of time away from my camera earlier this year, I decided to refocus on the reason why I first picked up photography. It was that desire to rediscover something that I'd lost that lead me to decide that, whatever I was going to capture with my camera, I wanted it to be driven by emotion, and I wanted whoever was viewing that to feel that emotion as well. Happiness, sadness, wonder, foreboding... whatever it was, I wanted it to accurately translate, through whatever means necessary, into my viewers' minds and into my viewers' hearts.
It is that desire that fuels this collection, and I hope that, through writing, video and song, you will see, and you will know.
Listening to Annie's music, and watching her in her element and performing in front of people live, I have a feeling that emotion also fuels her creative desire. After all, there will be a time when words can do no justice. What better time than to turn to a method of communication that transcends language?
When I prompted her on this question myself, I didn't even get a chance to finish. "Of course!" she says. "My words always fail me. I'm not good with words, so I like to let my music speak instead." And speak it does; evoking memories of beautiful anime classics such as Spirited Away, Kimi no Na Wa, or Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. If you haven't heard any of the soundtracks that accompany these anime's, I strongly encourage you to give them a listen. They made me seriously reconsider my perspective of music as a method of conveying emotion.
Annie draws her inspiration from a range of sources, mostly centred around photography, videography and music. However, she still feels that her best work comes from moments of personal significance, usually laced with emotion. "It's like a moment of clarity, or an epiphany", she says, absent-mindedly. "Sometimes it comes from a really dark, really personal place. Not all we experience is good."