Mnemonic of Absence


I use photography as a medium to explore my own psychological unknown, as well as my own reality and the environment around me. I prefer to expose the unseen in my work. The lens allows me to capture and bind the scattered fragmentation of memory and time to produce palpable even ambiguous pictures. The most important part of my creative process is to explore and experiment with the photograph as a document then analyse the visual layers and narratives.

Mnemonic of Absence

You state in your writing “designing your own memory” what does this mean concerning your work and life as a photographer?

This project is about my recent perception regarding my own life. To me, people have an idea of an idyllic life or their perceived futures. Yet while getting there they find fragments or chapters that do not necessarily match the bigger picture.

From this notion it is natural for me to eliminate those "unwanted" fragments and chapters to make my own idyllic world. It's not like I don’t want these experiences, it’s more about acquiring freedom to walk one’s own chosen path. I grew up in a village with strict social and family norms where I had to constantly take into consideration my personal actions and life choices. This has led me to do things I did not want to do. The evidence is embedded and captured in the photographs.

Through these works I want the freedom to create my own life out of all the fragments and chapters. I find it amusing, it's like a novel based on real life events. There's a tension between what is real and what is unreal.

Mnemonic of Absence

Are you a prolific photographer or do you carefully pick and compose the subject matter you record?

I might say a bit of both. I carry a camera with me everyday. If I find something interesting to photograph or something suitable for future and ongoing projects, I’ll go for it and record what I see. Although I don't necessarily shoot everyday. The editing process is always a crucial part in finishing a project.

Mnemonic of Absence
Mnemonic of Absence

Why did you decide to combine 'I Will Not Tell You That' and 'To The Dearest One Whom I Haven't Met' into one photographic study?

As I said before, it is simply about my perception toward my own life. I want to share my personal point of view.

"I Will Not Tell You That" is an 'unconscious' photographic project. "To The Dearest One Whom I Haven't Met" is a social documentary study based on friends and their environments. To combine both projects is an attempt to show both parts of my existence: my way of thinking and my way of life.

In some sense this project allowed me to explore the possibility of being the subject and the object at the same time, to observe and to be observed. So that I can simply arrange everything the way I want it to be.

This work helps me better explain myself to the outside world, in particular to my closest friends. Even though we have known each other for many years, they still find it hard to understand me.

How important is hindsight when you are selecting final photographs for a project and what would your process be?

I think it is fairly important. It sets the mood for each project and helps me with the exploration and experimentation process which is very organic. I need that as a foundation to create the narrative structure.

What do you aspire to achieve over the next few years?

I would like to explore the possibility of exhibiting my photography as well as participating in some residencies. I'd also like to travel more and pursue a Masters in photography.

Website: http://cargocollective.com/asruldwi