This world of ours is one big playground.
Lets start at that.
With the Internet came the awareness that the world is even smaller than we thought. Friendships are forged regardless of the separating miles, connections that last years and for the first time, we are allowed to go back to that original feeling of only getting along with people we actually like.
People who inspire us on a daily basis, who speak our language.
And I mean the language in our heart, the sound our emotions make.
I can’t really pinpoint when I found Aiwei but I wish I could though. Finding her was like finding another version of myself, and maybe because it was so natural to me, it came without setting a big change or date. It just happened.
Her phone images, her broken English, the magical world she surrounded herself in made so much sense that I looked forward to every new image she posted over her Instagram feed. I got in touch with Aiwei to learn and share a little more about herself and how she sees photography.
I would like to ask you a little about your background, where were you born and did that have any influence in what you do?
I was born in the East of Malaysia, Sarawak. I ́m a cross disciplinary artist and designer currently based in Helsinki, Finland, as I am pursuing my master degree in fashion studies.
Tell me about your work, your images and your magazine.
I work between art and design, using different mediums where I find it appropriate. I was first trained as a painter in fine arts school, even so, I am inclined towards using mixed medium as a way of expression, such as photography, video, writing, music and performances. After those years in fine arts school, I felt discontented with my practice contained in this fine arts context, that was when I started to venture into design. Art and design are inseparable as a practice in my daily life. My handmade zines were sort of impromptu. I love books as a form and medium. In fact, my very first series of works under my label, See You Tomorrow, was a series of handmade books made of found materials, which also compiled some of my writings and drawings.
One of my favorite “items” in Aiwei’s stream is her plant, it always makes me giggle so hard, I’ve come see that plant as a character. On one of my walks I found a plant behind bars and immediately thought about the story of that plant. This is when you know people inspire you. So i asked Aiwei to share the story of the plant with us.
The plant I have now was abandoned by a neighbor from the same block. So my housemate and I picked them up. They have been growing well though, and I think they are pretty. I wonder why the ex-owner gave them up… perhaps they moved to somewhere far with more nature around so they don’t need an indoor plant anymore? I think Finnish spend a lot of time outdoor, especially during summer.
What do you shoot your portraits with? And what is your camera of choice?
I used film and digital, but most of those portraits you have seen on IG were either taken by digital camera, iphone or photobooth on my mac book. I love film cameras way better… but I don’t have a preference for cameras. I only brought my old Canon SLR which is also the first camera i’ve owned in my life to Helsinki, and last year I bought a compact Ricoh from Tokyo. So now i am mostly toying with these 2 camera if i were to take film photos.
“I am wearing different gloves on both hands. For the right one was lost, I am still wearing the left side and waiting for some sort of ‘miracle’ (if miracle existed, and if the right glove could hear me plus having the ability to find all means to come back to me) but this is not the same expectation we have towards humans, because a glove is a thing. I guess what I want to say is… Dear right glove, if you saw this message, please come back immediately.”
Did you find your lost glove? I’ve been thinking about that glove, the adventures it may have run off to.
No… I didn’t find it. And in fact, my pair of orange gloves is missing one side too. I guess when things come in a pair could stir some paranoia, worry that one side will be gone and the pair will be single.
“Nevertheless I didn’t follow the map. The heart is a map with its own geography. So I went to the nearby forest instead. I feel grateful that the forest, hills and sea are nearby. I passed by the route where I’ve walked during winter, the path becomes narrower because nature has become wilder. The ice on the rocks already melted a few months ago. They are no longer white. I stopped by somewhere but don’t stay, even though I have my book and journal with me. There were many mosquitoes, they even tried to attack my eyeballs while I was cycling.”
What are your plans for the future?
I will be finishing my master course this autumn/winter, then I will be heading back to Singapore. I am planning for some collaboration works with fellow artist/musician/designer friends back there, and definitely will carry on with my personal projects as well, or set up a studio. I guess life will be very different from what i am living with now in Helsinki. I hope all will turn out well.
I am sure it will. We will all be cheering for you!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind at all being lost in translation in this world of ours. It just adds to the magic.
Now go outside and click.