What Does Your Soul Like? Photography and the City

This article was previously published in Issue 20, ISLANDS (March 2019).


Mahayana Buddhism teaches of six realms of corporeal existence, all of which hold their own vices. The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts, adjacent to Hell, holds those consumed by their desires. They traverse barren landscapes, cold, starving and untouched. The consuming need for substance is an Uroboros tragedy, a snake eating its own tail: one can only be ‘full’ once they accept the wisdom of emptiness. Don’t worry, this isn’t about me trying to convert one to Buddhism to fix depression, or preach about my art. Actually, it has a happy ending.

Apart from my love of bleak, Eastern philosophical openings, I also love Photography. It was one of the first artistic pursuits that I felt an achievement in and quickly became a hobby, then an obsession. In recent years, especially since university, it has become a diary, a letter and a mirror. Through my patron saints (Martin Parr, Daidō Moriyama, Nan Goldin, to name a few), I became obsessed with street photography. The medium achieves such theatrical clarity and reveals