Andrew’s world in Japan

Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring th
creative process & connecting with other creative people.




The Little Things

As I travel, peaking around corners, exploring elements that are the places we humans inhabit, I ‘capture’ a pocket of time. This idea is wrapped in documentation or supplementation of memory. At what age did I begin this process? My first trip to Japan was at the age of 11. Near that same time I could be found writing my own mash-up mystery adventures inspired by Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys and Beverly Cleary. Maybe after I’d read all these many stories that captivated me. Still hungry for more, I began creating my own tales. It could have been my parents or teachers who planted that little seed. Before any kind of loss of this energy occurred, I’d begun writing, drawing, typing and photographing stories of my own.

Initially, I imagine, we take photos together with our family around the premise of keepsakes. Parents are excited to capture those only once moments they experience with their child. Often, we’re reminded of these when we visit other families or receive visitors. My family at least, often breaks out stacks of these well-organized and preserved collections of the history of our lives in photographs and keepsakes. Evolution inevitably finds a way to expand and refine someone’s interests if they practice an activity long enough. Storytelling through some different mediums has grown just that way for me, especially in the realm of photography. Each sentence of a story crystalizes a vision, much like a painting or a photo.

83EN-Andrew-IMG_2462_editThe practice of exploration, be it research to make better materials, technologies, medical cures or photojournalism, can implement a scientific method. Considering it now leads me to wonder, do I practice any method? On a conscious level I make a commitment to bring my equipment, spending time observing the components of a scene. Then, accumulating enough photos, paint the picture and tell that story I’m compelled to. Although I may have an idea, target or intention initially, my preference is to remain open and alert to work more as a delivery vessel. Of course I am filtering out elements attempting to compose a particular look and feel that assists the story’s delivery.

During the course of this process, other stories can and do unfold. Blocking these moments that don’t seem to jel initially is the last thing I want to do. Down the line, with the benefit of hindsight, these outlier unexpected moments have on occasion served better to develop and delivery the story. Composing a series of images in a sequence, like words, offer such infinite potential. These selected images are a small sample of outlier moments that at first may seem out of place. Practice makes perfect is mainly just developing skills to the point of unconscious flow, so consciousness can continue to evolve new methods. Japanese culture has identified processes that aid in the telling of stories. From culinary arts to writing, bushido to aikido, the act of honing the conscious practice of observation and communication is a daily experience.