In Pursuit of Intangible Personification
by Adar Ng
A human is more than just the body.
Transfixed by the idea of capturing the intangible qualities of a human, this series explores the usage of body movement and colours to unveil the material nature of the body and the life force that resides in it.
- The Spirit Within, Adar Ng
In retrospect, I am quite happy with this work, not because of the final outcomes; but the process and journey were illuminating, intriguing and delightful. New environments and new encounters were in the background of the making of this work. The contrast between the environment and my internal thoughts was quite vast, and this chasm of difference meant I was more sensitive to the personalities of the people I met. This resulted in a synesthesia-esque sort of interpretation of their personalities, where I felt personalities could have colours themselves, a starting point of this work.
In the pursuit of this intangible personification, I opened my camera shutter for a longer period of time; toying with movement as the brush strokes where the colours appear. Each exposure comprises a few simple movements such as jumping, flailing, stretching, and spinning around. The participants were welcomed to add any additional movements they felt like doing. This process yielded another layer of personification, in which how they moved and how fast they moved across a period of time manifested as various intensities of motion-blurred captures on the camera.
At every turn, the process offered something peculiar. In post-production, I chanced upon the Inverse function in Photoshop which rendered my images into an inconceivable environment of colours. These otherworldly qualities inched closer to how I felt the work should be; a defiance against our preconceived notions of senses and sight. Thus the process became The Spirit Within, a work that I cherish quite a bit - the work taught me to value the process of art-making, opening myself and the process to various possibilities.
All photography here is from the series The Spirit Within.
Adar Ng is a media artist who works primarily with the medium of photography and video. She employs simple nuances in our everyday life in her work to reflect and respond to our everyday complexity. Her recent projects include commissioned works, STICKI and The Spaces Between Us.