Playful, Tender & Contradictory.

THE ARCHIVE: Hi Nydia, welcome to The Archive! Please introduce yourself to our readers.
NYDIA: Hi! I’m a photographer and filmmaker currently based between Singapore and Bandung.


TA: What inspires you for your collages?
N: I’m inspired by what’s in front of me at the moment and how I feel each element comes together. I’m also very inspired by Robert Mapplethorpe’s collages and my dear friend, Yasmina Hilal

TA: Could you walk us through your creative process when creating one? What comes first, the photos or the final image?
N: I usually start with a key image and a box of cutouts and materials I’ve collected over the years from old magazines and books. Because of the spontaneous and experimental nature of collaging, the process becomes very playful. I don’t know what the final image looks like until I’m done


TA: Do you experiment with different techniques or do you like to stick to one?
N: Just the good old cut and paste. I use anything I can find in my room — paint, nail polish, glitter, etc. Collaging is just a practice in creativity for me, it’s not my main medium.


TA: What about your photography, what do you want your photos to tell the viewer?
The answer to this is pretty open ended because I don’t want to dictate what people take from my work. That being said, I hope to invoke empathy and challenge the viewer to ask questions instead of provide answers. A lot of my personal work deals with deconstructing identity politics and my journey in trying to understand my own. I hope it will allow those who see themselves in it to heal and those who don’t, to understand.

TA: How would you define the impact that imagery has on us?
In today’s visual culture, imagery is a powerful tool that shapes the way we see ourselves and the wider world. Images have the power to tell the truth or perpetuate falsehoods. They have the power to tap into our desires and tell us where to direct them. We’re constantly consuming images through various channels, which further amplifies the power they have over our perceptions. We’ve collectively suffered from the wounds created by the misdirection of this power, especially those who have been left out of the conversation entirely. It’s only until recent years that we’ve started reclaiming our power and narratives through imagery.


TA: If you had to create an image describing the consequences of climate change, how would you represent it?
This is a tough one. I would cut out images of children protesting climate change and paste them along the crack of the Larsen C ice shelf.


TA: What is more important to you, the message or the technique?
The message, 100%. While there’s definitely merit in technique, art still has to say something at the end of the day.


TA: What can you tell us about the projects you are currently working on?
N: I’m currently working on a mini documentary I just shot in Bandung for a media platform called Norrm

Find out more about Nydia and her work on her website and instagram.

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