The word “whimsical” might be one of those specific but overused terms used to describe photo series. But there are some occasions—rare occasions—when this word is still precise enough to be used.

This is a series of whimsical, blurred, and surreal portraits of chosen subjects taken over three years in Melbourne, Singapore, and Jakarta. Never showing the subjects’ faces entirely, these photographs are not the average traditional portraits; rather, they’re evocations of our journeys, mindsets, interests, and experiments. 

Erasing the obvious, revealing through concealing, delineating through obscuring, faces are blurred. The resulting visions are innately intimate, and yet at the same time they sing the song of loneliness, emptiness, confusion, and longing.

These hazy, dreamy images represent a digital image that hasn’t fully loaded yet. The subjects featured have profoundly different backgrounds: Asmara Abigail is a movie actress, Iris Ferwerda is a teacher, and Hayati Azis is a fashion model.

Looking at the works takes a bit of getting used to, especially in this day of high definition and hyperrealism. We explore the boundaries of memory through the distorted and ephemeral quality of this series. Although you can find hints at forms and colors in this series, not all the information is given, therefore allowing the viewer an avenue to picture their own subjects, stories, and meanings. 

It might be abstract, hard to grasp, one of the hardest human links to put down in words, but this work conveys the connection of two souls who grew up together, hand in hand—camera in hand.

Photos by Sally Ann & Emily May
Taken between 2014-2017

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