Foreword | by Gisli Snaer
Photography signifies our inherent enquiry into the human-condition. As a static pictorial container of movement, moment and passage of time, photography heightens and nurtures our senses and search for identity. The selected photographs in this publication are an aesthetic and anthropological celebration of life on the go in Asia and Europe. They are presented here as a universal language, that communicates beyond borders, despite the fact that all the photographs were created within diverse territorial, social, linguistic, historical and cultural contexts.
Photography is a medium of communication, which can have powerful social implications. Photographers learn how to articulate this unique representation, as they investigate and channel the astonishing power of the photograph to induce universal emotion. Through a decisively captured photographic moment, a viewer in Europe can easily empathise with the joy of a child in Asia and vice versa. Universal themes in photography will reliably make millions of people around the globe experience thrill, fear and even terror, as well as invite them to weep, cheer, celebrate and laugh.
Looking at photographs has become such a common and familiar act for most that we have lost sight of how remarkable and significant the form of photography truly is. The photograph is granted the magic of capturing life itself. It influences the present by mirroring what has passed. It helps us find our way through seeing and experiencing the lives of others, at home and away. The photograph creates an inter-subjective space, where both the photographer and the viewer assemble and share responses to challenging experiences, which neither one may have visited in his or her own reality and existence. Observing the lives of people at home, and around the globe, through the lens of a talented photographer, helps us identify and negotiate our own emotions, memories, existence and being. Photographs are captured as if we might want to confirm our humanity and our ability to be compassionate, for the act of taking a photograph can often test our ability to empathise.
Photography has the power to compensate for a wide range of frailties that reside within our nature by reflecting them back to us, and informing us where we are, and who we are. Ultimately, photography is an inspirational source which prompts us to grow into wiser and more mature beings, whilst transcending beyond geopolitical boundaries, and uniting continents as one.
'On The Go' Photo Competition Winners, October 2015.
Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), 31 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore 119595