P R I V A T E P A R T S
This work began as a series of nude image-makers placed before the camera, highlighting the vulnerability photographers feel when they take on the unnatural role of the observed. For the most part we clothe our bodies to protect ourselves from the elements, to keep ourselves warm etc, but also clothes are used to express our individuality. Additionally, clothes are used to conceal our bodies, to avoid feelings of shame generated through societal expectations of beauty.
Being naked removes the veil that distinguishes our carefully considered public persona from our natural and true form. Through the conforming customs of clothing, I question the ritual of covering our bodies as it may subconsciously force us to conceal shameful personal traits within ourselves from the world. It’s been observed that suppressing feelings of disgrace through our societal violations often accompany behaviours that are themselves a trigger for further shame, such as addictions, compulsive actions, harsh self-criticism, or self-denigration.
As the experience of shame in individuals is closely linked to the development of self-value, this repetitive form of punishment to the psych could cause deep unhappiness in the long run. Having been raised in Malaysia, an Islamic nation.. A “shame society” as opposed to a “guilt society”, I have persistently battled the underlying feeling of inadequacy in regards to who I am, rather than what I have done.
To expand this project further, I aim to photograph environmental nude portraits (possibly anonymous) through Morocco, Turkey, Egypt and Iran, where these patterns of private penance are prevalent, especially in young women struggling to liberate themselves from the powerful restraints of the Muslim reforms. I hope that through my interactions with the sitters, I am able to bridge emotional gaps in the most important relationship they will ever have - the ones they have with themselves.