Young artist asks: are we not water?

TWENTY-YEARS-OLD budding multimedia artist Augustine “Aidx” Paredes takes a deeper look at water in his ongoing photo exhibit We Are Water.

The exhibit puts spotlight on what appear to be a dozen (out of a thousand) overly simple photographs of water. To Aidx, these photographs “do not only hold movements, waves, and tides but also emotions, secrets, and truths.”

“The vastness and depth of the sea are tantamount to our own,” he said. “ We Are Water evokes subdued sensuality, with its intimate — almost voyeuristic — depictions of my chosen bodies of water. The collection of seamlessly collated photographs is my quiet departure from the aesthetics of my earlier works on portrait and fashion photography.”

In his interview, Aidx talks about his exhibit and the “enigma” of the sea.

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What inspired you to mount this exhibit?

After almost two years of dedicating my passion to work on [my magazine] LIEU Online Magazine and to help out fellow artists and growing brands in Davao, I realized I have let go of my personal work.

Not that I lost my identity, but I have not been doing things that are not entirely mine. This brought me to a decision–to leave Davao, my comfort zone, to seek other stories.

During the last months of 2014, I quit my job and decided to let go of a lot of things to move to Manila. There, I took workshops and attended exhibits. One day, I impulsively bought a ticket to La Union and then Baguio. During February of this year, I went back to Davao for BLTX 7 and then left for Siargao Island.

I wanted to seek for stories, and I got them only after I left. We Are Water is inspired by stories–mine and other people’s.

What are the ideas that you explored for your exhibit?

At first, I wanted to find a connection between an old love and the sea and how they are the same. But then, I can only do so much for a love that is forgotten and thrown away. I decided to do this for myself, that it would no longer be about that love, instead it would be about and for me.

What did you discover about yourself as you went through your creative process?

In my transience, I knew myself more–that I am like the sea–fluid, wide, deep, and enigmatic.

Tell us about your medium.

Photography has been part of my life since then. So having a background on photography made it easier for me to document my travels. I always ended up near the sea and living near it gave me the chance to photograph the sea.

Where did you take these photos?

This photo series feature sceneries from Camiguin Island, Canibad, IGACOS, San Juan, La Union, and Siargao Island.

How long have you been taking photos?

I started doing fashion and portrait photography since I was 12. Now that I’m 20, I think We Are Water is a quiet transition to fine art photography.

Name some of your favorite photography gadgets/tools?

Now, I only have a few analogue and film cameras, but what I usually use is a Canon 550D. For daily photographs, I use my iPhone 5.

What ideas and thoughts do you want/hope to elicit from your audience?

In general, I want them to see the connection between them and the sea. I want them to recognize the enigma that the sea is. I want them to be curious of the world. But for creative people, I want them to be brave enough to go out of their comfort zones and put their works out there, no matter how hard or stressful. (We Are Water runs until April 16 in the Abreeza Corporate Center)

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