photography by STEVENDAVIDLIM

The Specimen Series

It is not easy speaking about one’s own photography. A million conscious and subconscious thoughts have gone into the series ‘Specimen’. They are all relevent, important and yet unimportant. When did I get the idea to create this series? What was the inspiration? Where was the start? I do not really know, to be honest. The project is the crystallisation of several main branches of memories that linger in my thoughts; the beauty of the human form stripped to the skin, strong yet vulnerable, simple yet complex, uniform yet individually unique; the memory of the human foetus that sat silently for many years in a jar at the back of my biology lab in secondary school (it was given a proper burial several years after I graduated); the heating and blowing of glass, transforming it from sand and molding it into the delicate fragility, exquisite clarity and uncompromising brittle hardness of glass vessels; the suspension of time, preserving and precluding movement, freeze framing a single moment.

Some find this series disturbing. Some, tranquil. Some see beauty, some, sinister. Life, death, hope, loss, malice, benevolence, end, beginning. I’d like to believe all these words are relevent and can all be used to describe the series. Maybe in seeing them, we are able to see a little of ourselves.

As time passes by and you look at portraits, the people come back to you like a silent echo.

—Henri Cartier-Bresson