• #04-131 (2017)

    #04-131 is where I spent a large part of my life growing up.

    This is my first photo series project that documents home as I know it.

    My work is a commentary on time, change and the sacredness of home.

  • About #04-131

    About #04-131

    I never appreciated my home when I was living in it. I found the 3-room apartment cramped, the interior dated and the space cluttered. I was ashamed of the mismatched furniture and frustrated by the claustrophobia of the space.

    After moving out, I started to understand how it's not easy keeping any lived-in space clutter-free. The tendency to hoard is a natural instinct and human flaw. After all, objects, like spaces, are more than material, they occupy more than concrete space. They hold symbolic and sentimental meanings for us. They make time stand still.

    Recently, my parents received a mandatory notice to "upgrade" the toilets after failing a water test. Everything would be hacked and re-furnished. They also decided they would repaint the house.

    Because of this, I suddenly had an urge to document my home as I remembered it growing up. I went around the house with my camera phone and tried to make sense of this familiar place through the camera lens. My only resource was my resolution to commit to memory every mess and wrinkle. That, and my phone.

     

    Boxes are packed and they move out tomorrow. When we come back, things will be different. But I want to remember the chaos and clutter because I know now that's the beauty of my home.

    The Art

    I used my camera phone, a Samsung S8 (which is featured in one of the photographs) to take these photographs. Truly, the camera phone puts photography on a level playing field and democratises the art.

     

    Fuelled by a nostalgic desperation to capture images and memories of home, I went around the house and photographed fragments of the space. I started with the toilet mirror, and worked my way around the house. Some shots are close and tight. That is because it reflects the confined space with which I had to navigate.

     

    The objects in my photographs are not staged, rather, they were taken as they are. I also decided that for this series, all photographs would be raw, unedited and unadulterated.

    About Me

    Esther Vincent teaches Literature at the School of the Arts, Singapore and is co-editor of the poetry anthology Little Things. "#04-131" is her first foray into photography, which is an intimate contemplation of time, change and the sacredness of home. As a poet, she writes poetry that is personal and political, and believes that poetry should empower, not exclude, engage, not evade. Her poems have been published in various print and online publications like Dissident Voice, The Journal of Remembered Arts, Feminine Collective, Into the Void Magazine, Luminous Echoes, New Asian Writing, Eastlit, Unhomed, Sound of Mind and more. Besides poetry, she has always been passionate about reading, travel, theatre, film, photography, architecture, coffee and interior design.

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