Today we speak to Lavender Chang, a Singapore based photographer and artist from Taiwan.
Yanda: Tell us about yourself and what you do.
Lavender: I am a Taiwanese girl who stays in Singapore. I am pretty open-minded, and have high curiosity. When faced with an opportunity of a new experience, I usually tend to do it first before considering its consequence. This is because to me, process is more important than its outcome. I love photography- it makes my heart beat faster when I am able to visualize the concepts in my mind.
My works reflect my perception toward the world around me. My focus is to convey sincere works from the bottom of my heart, and hopefully evoke empathy through my works. Photography is a medium that helps me reach out to more people because it transcends language.
How would you describe your life in one sentence?
Keeping life optimistic and balanced.
What do you do first when you get up in the morning?
I recall what I dreamt last night and my tasks for the day.
What daily routines you cannot do without?
Do you believe in work life balance?
I believe in work life balance when there is no financial pressure.
What’s your definition of happiness?
To achieve what I want to achieve, and to be able to cherish what I cherish.
What are the things that keep you sane?
My conscience and my positive personality.
What makes you guilty?
I tried not to do wrong things, so I seldom feel guilty. Even if I do, I will try to find solutions to pull me out of the situation, so I will not feel depress for too long.
Say.. are you doing what you love now?
Yes, not everything, but yes.
Do you think working without restrictions can be the hardest thing to do?
If I have a clear idea of what I want to achieve, working without restrictions is not the hardest thing to do.
How do you set your benchmarks then?
My benchmark is clear when a certain idea or project in my mind drives me in expectation for its completion.
Do you get annoyed or upset with yourself (or depressed) if you don’t get what you want?
I used to, especially when I had an idea in my mind, but struggled in its visualization. I would get frustrated at myself. Now I will write down my thoughts, and leave it aside, the visualization part will just come naturally. However if it is not related to my work, such as something out of my control, I will only get upset. I will try to talk myself out of it, and stay positive.
How do you keep educating yourself?
Reading and thinking. Watch Art films. Hanging out and conversing to people who can educate or inspire me:)
How has being in Clang’s mentorship programme helped you so far?
Clang is very helpful. I trust his experience and knowledge, and I always feel fortunate that he is my mentor. By joining his mentorship, I now look at my art in a different level. It changed how I used to create my work.
Any heroes? What do you admire about them?
Generally I admire people who have their own strength.
Can taste be taught or nurtured?
Everyone has a different perception of taste due to their culture, environment, education and experience. There is no general right or wrong when it comes to taste, but rather, whether the audience is receptive to it. I believe that through immersion and exposure, taste can be taught and educated upon, with the possibility of unique and better perceptions in taste.
What about hunger?
Hunger is very important. It is the driving force pushing you to want more and be better.
Have you ever shown your work to your parents? Do they understand what you are actually doing?
I often show my works to my parents and explain the motivations behind each work, also inviting them to my exhibitions. My mother seems to have more interest in art, and she does have good perception in art. I believe my artistic genes have come from my mother. Compared to my father, she is often more understanding toward my works, and is even able to give me constructive feedback at times.
Lastly what websites do you surf or books you would like to share?
Susan Sontag On photography, ‘請照顧我媽媽’ (please take care of my mother).
View more of Lavender’s works at http://www.lavchang.com/.