dead leaf echo
dead leaf echo is inspired by Vladimir Nabokov’s titular Lolita, reimagined as my own experience. I collaged together several self-portraits with words from my journals in an attempt to illustrate the process and aftermath of sexual grooming. In this photographic series, I try to break the safety of taboo that surrounds my subject, with the hope that sharing my perspective will be a harsher counterpart to Nabokov’s tongue-in-cheek, lyrical approach.
Predators are protected by the untouchable nature of their crime, and they can shield themselves with the anonymity intended for their victims. These perpetrators are not just your average HDB void deck cikopeks; they are literate, educated, suave, charismatic monsters that walk amongst us. Of course, dead leaf echo is not meant as an exposé. Rather, it has been a journey for me to explore previously repressed emotions, and to come to terms with my past.
Exhibited alongside these photographs is a perfume bottle containing the ashes of the aforementioned journals.
dead leaf echo was exhibited at Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film from 9 February to 6 March 2022 under the Shooting Home Youth Awards programme (now known as the Young Photographers' Mentorship Programme).