Xuan Hui Ng
March 29 – April 30, 2020
I began photographing as a form of self-therapy. I was grieving over the loss of my mother, who had been both my confidante and my moral compass. I ran from grief and buried myself in work. Relationship issues compounded the pain and left me at the lowest point in my life.
A volunteer cum sight-seeing trip brought me to Tibet. It was there sitting on the edge of Lake Natmso that I savored a sense of peace that had eluded me for the longest time. Its vastness gave me a sense of perspective while its beauty reignited in me a sense of wonder and adventure. Nature reminded me that life is beautiful, that there is so much to live for and to explore.
Initially, the urge to photograph stemmed from an almost desperate desire to prolong the serenity they brought. More time spent photographing translated to longer periods of peace for my mind. Overtime, I began to enjoy simply being immersed in nature, marveling at its beauty and being grateful for having yet another serendipitous encounter.
Ephemeral – Many moments of nature are ephemeral – the fog lifts, the petals fall, the sun shifts and snow bugs die. The four-character Japanese idiom, 一期一会 (ichi-go ichi-e) best illustrates the fact that many encounters with nature are once in a life time and cannot be replicated.
Precious – Some natural phenomena like sun pillars are difficult to come by as they demand a confluence of multiple factors – e.g. clear sky, extremely low temperatures, high humidity and calm windless conditions. As global temperatures warm and the weather becomes increasingly erratic, sun pillars are becoming even rarer to behold. I fear that there will come a day when this amazing phenomenon may become extinct and it is this concern that has driven me to photograph in greater earnest.
Healing – Nature has been pivotal to my own healing and growth. Studies have shown that nature and even images of nature can provide symptom relief, lower stress levels and reduce depression and anxiety. I hope that my images can contribute to such a meaningful cause.
I dedicate these tokens of memories to kindred spirits, the weary, the lost and the lonesome. I hope that they too can experience the joy I felt when I laid my eyes on these magical landscapes.