Naturally, nothing stays the same, and this is especially true in the underwater world. Everything moves consistently to embrace the flux of life that occurs every second. The beauty of life underwater is that nothing will remain the same. In a split second, a school of fish would have changed its formation and direction, a feather star would have curled up from the heat of light, or sharks would have sped away from us—intruders of their sacred world. For slower species such as corals, they might have taken years, decades, or even centuries to grow and form their large colonies, but they are also under constant change in their environment.
Nothing stays still underwater, yet the ocean holds the most ancient species that have occupied this earth. It is a sacred space that I always enter with humility.
As a photography artist, I am learning to be “still” by finding peace in the changes that emerge. I remain “still” by moving and responding continuously to the flow of the water. What comes, comes. What goes, goes. What remains, will not remain forever. Photos were taken in split seconds of their occurrences in front of my eyes. I am learning to not hold on to any moments in time. I am learning to embrace the constant flux of daily life and to welcome all changes—all the ebbs and all the flows. I believe that is how we become free.
Photography has always been a tool for me to put my feet out the door and be ready to explore new territories— physically, emotionally, and intellectually. “Blue Wilderness: Finding Peace in Flux” emerged from my exploration of diving in the ocean. Through various dive trips, I gradually met new friends who are marine enthusiasts,
conservationists, educators, and scientists. The next thing I know, I have already become a certified conservation diver and am learning marine science fundamentals in my pass time. Meanwhile, the ocean has become a unique place for me to maintain my curiosity and to feel unique hidden emotions invoked by a calm but intense surrounding body of water. In my attempt to understand the ocean, I also better understand myself.
Wan Chantavilasvong is an independent urban researcher, a photography artist, and a conservation diver based in Bangkok, Thailand. She began her photographic journey through her travels to different continents. Nowadays, as she has become more curious about the environmental impacts and urban society, she has started to explore ways photography can be used to capture her unique thoughts, to open new gateways for more questions, and to remain curious about the world.
information provided by event organizer