“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos. The materials must, in the first place, be afforded: it can give form to dark, shapeless substances but cannot bring into being the substance itself.” I vividly remember the moment when I jotted down this quote in my journal while reading the book Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley. By that time, I’ve been pondering a lot regarding the central message I wanted to convey through the What Remains project. The quote inspired me to capture the same sense of feeling that Shelly was sharing about creativity and imagination.
Photographing abstract elements in the theater’s backstage environment, I was able to create images in which the subject itself isn't the most interesting element. I tend to encourage the idea that while one abstract picture may seem confusing and out of place, a compilation of different abstract pictures could give the viewers a better sense of the storyline.I also processed all the pictures in black and white as I wanted to isolate all the unnecessary distractions in the pictures and merely focus on the shapes, lines and shadows. In terms of my framing, most of my images are close ups as I wanted to emphasize the texture in the setting of the pictures. It is my intention that my pictures could all, in some way, connect to one another, and moreover, connect to the viewers. I hope that my explorations of abstractionism could, in Shelly’s words, spark more inventions ́ 'out of chaos”.