Fueled by an enduring passion for humanity's quest for self-discovery, and the mystical realms of spirituality, I’ve been following the ebbs and flow of daily life for the past six years. This has led me to meet and explore, diverse worlds of individuals and communities as mystical as the holy Hindu Aghoris from the Pyres of Varanasi, to the vibrant inner world of cosplaying in the heartlands of Singapore, my own country.
Through the visual language of photography, I listen to people’s stories as they open their world to the light. Like a dancing duet, we create intimate visual narratives in sync with the rhythm of life and the relationships forged. With a glimpse of their wisdom received, I pass on their stories with you.
Formally, Alvin Ng is a Southeast Asian photographer currently based in Singapore who works in photography and research. His works convey a sense of intimacy and mystery based on the intricate relationship between humanity, the natural world, and the various realms of spiritualities.
Samsara is a visual reflection of my relationship with the balance of the world and its natural elements. First started in 2018 on a trip to the pyres of Varanasi, the work began in earnest in Singapore in 2020 at the time of the pandemic, where the world we once knew changed forever, casting us into the dark ocean of uncertainty and loss. Overwhelmed by the chaos of the world and the endings of connections once thought permanent, I turned inwards to question myself and the relationship I have with my surroundings as a means of escape and reflection.
Aided by the teachings of the Buddhist doctrines Anitya (Impermanence), Samsara (Cycle of life), and the ancient Chinese book of wisdom known as the I Ching, I began to comprehend the rhythmic cycle of all life and its harmonious connection with each other. As I immersed myself into my surroundings, releasing all attachments and existing simply as a living element in sync with all other living elements, I discovered a sense of tranquillity and realms of mystical mysteries.
This impermanent state in which all elements merge and dissolve, birth and eventual death, creates a balance, an equilibrium cycle for all living things in our present world. Drifting away to the currents of the 'Flow', I follow its uncharted course, embracing the various forms of beginnings and endings, listening to the messages they whisper and deciphering their meanings.
Release Date: July 28,2023
According to Buddhism and Hinduism teachings, Devas are deities or higher celestial beings existing in the highest realms, living in contentment and at peace in realms that are unbounded by the strifes of the world. Also known to be invisible to the human eye, they take on all kinds of shapes and forms and to be reincarnated into these realms is considered to be an excellent accumulation of good karma.
This photograph was shot using an analogue camera (Hasselblad 500cm), afterwards, it is hand manipulated on photographic print by using a needle and a light panel, and then digitalized using a digital camera.
The Tranquillity of the Devas, 2022