Interview: Lavender Chang

What moves you?

Life moves me. I appreciate the world I live in, and try to be sensitive to the subtle nuances surrounding me. I hope by focusing on these experiences, I can create a canvas allowing further contemplation and letting the passage of time to leave behind traces of my mortality. When strangers share private moments of their life and their stories with me, it enables me to live larger by incorporating them into my art. It moves me to know we are never really alone.

Where do you draw your influences from?

Partly similar to my mentor, John Clang, I draw influence base on my curiosities and observations of the people around me. They are like multi-faceted mirrors reflecting my own existence in this world.

How were the shoots organized?

The hardest part was persuading people to be the subject. It is not easy to ask people to pose nude in front of the camera, especially when I do not know many of them personally prior to the shoots. And I noticed that girls are more accepting than guys. I actually had more rejection from Singaporean guys because many of them were not comfortable to show their bodies. Hence I often asked people who have interests to be my subject, even when I barely know them.

What camera do you use?

There are many ways to take an image, and there is no one best camera in the world. By going through the whole concept, I will know which type of medium will be more suitable for certain ideas. I have used both film and digital, as long as it helps me to visualize my idea. For this series, I chose to work with a film camera.

What do you make of the human condition?

There are a lot of uncontrollable factors in life and I am curious about what exist within our own unconscious. What happened during the period of the time when we are in the state of unconscious?

What are your thoughts on time?

Time is very mysterious to me; I feel I know so little about time. I don’t know if time just passes by, or it actually stops. But I know people eventually die, sooner or later, and it makes me wonder about our existence.

Chang’s exhibition Unconsciousness: Consciousness is currently showing at ION Art Gallery through Sep 24.