Ever since I was young, I’ve liked taking photos. There is a gratifying feeling that comes when you actually capture something in the exact way you imagined it, like the photo was more so the vision in your mind than the real thing itself. I took up 35mm film photography probably a year or so ago. I think what drew me to it was the way it effortlessly managed to capture something in such a raw and authentic way. Once developed, you had a roll of moments, beyond just photos.
To tangent off of that, I’ve always had somewhat of an existential thought process around the theme of people. Specifically, I think it’s very interesting to consider the divide between population and individual; the mere fact that every person has their own life, their own thoughts, their own existential crises as well. And so, I’ve constantly tried to think of a visually appealing way to convey this idea, prompting me to ask myself: How do I show that every person is a work in progress?
When I went up to the city one day, it struck me how ideal the opportunity was to capture the very thing I had been thinking about for weeks. A city is a mass of individual people with individual lives. As I took pictures, I tried to show how even in such a colluded environment, some people obviously stood out. Some people just meshed into the scene. And sometimes the lack of people emphasized the enormity of the city itself. Collectively, the photos try to explain how the fact that every person is an enigma is a phenomena; it’s such a strange concept that I can’t quite wrap my head around.
An enigma is a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand. Maybe the concept that we are all enigmas is the most challenging part of all. Every person, a work in progress, sometimes unraveling, sometimes piecing themselves back together, sometimes falling apart, sometimes growing up. I think that is a valuable thing to know, that you aren’t alone in your personal struggles. Our downfalls and faults often blind us and isolate us from the experiences of others. I believe that the realization that imperfection and progression is a universal experience is perhaps one of the most valuable things you can learn.
Being a work in progress, I suppose, is an enigma in itself.