In 2017, I was invited by the Singapore Writer's Festival, to create a series of photographs and videos in response to their chosen theme, Aram (அறம்). Aram is mentioned in the ancient Thirukkural (1st-3rd century B.C), widely revered as the most influential work in Tamil.
Thirukkural can be read as a guide book for living, living well. Written by a humble weaver, the spiritual aspect of the kural couplets is emphasised in each chapter, and the existence of afterlife is also suggested. The Singapore Writers Festival investigates this common creed and how it can help one to navigate the trials and tribulations in an increasingly complex world.
I approached the theme Aram in a series of images which explore the human condition as an endless negotiation of perspectives, positions, desires and power. These images express imagined interventions and attempts at finding balance in intimate ways within ourselves, with others and in our societies.
I am inspired by the movements observed in contact improvisation, a partner dance form based on the physical principles of touch, momentum, shared weight, and following a shared point of contact. This dance practice explores the skills of falling, rolling, counterbalance, lifting using minimal effort, how to make ourselves light when being lifted, centering and breathing techniques, and responsiveness to our partners and surroundings. This process echoes the text in Aram which explores the various quality of virtues. For this work, I imagine a series of images which reveal a sense of exploration and expansion, in the quest of balance in our complex worlds.