a summer photo diary by Brian Lau (@zerkalou)
Brian Lau is stumbling through being an ‘adult’, camera pressed firmly to his face. Golden and grain-soaked, his photo-stories encapsulate smoky nights and heady afternoons. Through an exchange of emails, he tries to describe to me the summer of these images – the blurry months post-highschool graduation, everything understood and forgotten and lost and learnt. And when I get lost in his work, that’s how I feel – these layers of nostalgia, and the sense that it doesn’t really matter anyway, because we certainly don’t have anything figured out, and no one else does either.
in his own words:
I’ve always found there to be an uneasiness in never knowing when your life is supposed to have ‘truly’ started. My closest friends and I talk about this periodically, an uncertainty always present in the way we talk, the hesitance of our pride, and the meagreness of what we hold to our name so far. There’s always debates on whether being a “wunderkind” is beneficial to anyone, and eventually the slow acceptance that despite our condescending tones, our ever-present and absolute certainty, we actually don’t know everything. Our plans – despite our truest and best efforts to commit to them – have never been anything more than projections; a new hope.
We might not be geniuses, but looking around at our peers, our families … the supposed “adults” who wanted us to have everything figured out… they’re as equally unsolved and curious as we are.
This year – or, more specifically, this summer – my closest friend, Henry, and I, have decided to take this realisation as a good thing. I’ve found once you let go of these romantic projections, you stop feeling the need to present yourself in an untruthful way. You get to actually see what’s precious around you. What’s real. You begin to appreciate the tiny things, with this genuine and convincing love. It may not be glamorous, but the colors are certainly brighter, the mysteries even more intriguing, and the accomplishments more earned.
I don’t want to look to the future to fix everything, I just want to know the fullness and depths of what’s right here, already around me.