Ng Hui Hsien’s “The Weight of Air”
Spurred by a “personal search for quiet,” photographer Ng Hui Hsien obtained a one-month artist residency in Iceland to create her series “The Weight of Air.” Trained in sociology, with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the National University of Singapore, Ng turned to photography just a few years ago to fill a void that she felt existed in her life.
During her residency in Iceland, Ng took the time to be truly alone with nature, absorbing the various sights and sounds in solitude. “While I was walking through parts of Iceland, estranged from family and friends at the other side of the world, geologically active landscapes revealed themselves to constitute a living, breathing ecosystem with its own set of rules,” she explains. Experiencing the “hostility” of Icelandic snowstorms, the “magic” of the Northern Lights and the bright skies that linger in the long summer daylight hours of the region, she says: “I was led to contemplate questions related to the relationships between oneself and the environment, and how one lives and loves.”
Using a medium-format film camera and both a digital compact and film compact camera, Ng says she created “The Weight of Air” to uncover what “arises in moments of solitude when one is simply present.” Ng is self-publishing a book of the project, and hopes to foster an intimate relationship between reader and images through “the tactility of a physical book and the personal act of reading.”
– Amy Touchette
Photos © Ng Hui Hsien