Olivia Wong

Winner of

Lower Primary Category

Written Statement

Which way is up? Which way is down? That’s how I feel when I hold my breath and roll myself into a ball in the sea, letting the waves tumble me around. Undercurrent shows how our lives were thrown into a topsy-turvy during the pandemic in 2020. Undercurrent explores what made us feel better during turbulent times, but also the worries that lie beneath.

In ‘Uber Eats’, the instant noodles shows how we got more treats and meals home delivered, but how much single use packaging is going to the landfill?

The cute hamster in ‘Pandemic Pets’ represents how people bought cuddly pets to keep them company, but who would look after them after we returned to school and the office?

‘Work from Home’ shows how parents enjoyed spending more time with their children during lockdown, but working from home and remote schooling at the same time drove us all to madness.

I shot the photos on my mum’s Google Pixel camera phone on auto settings in our homemade cardboard lightbox in the back garden. We used natural ambient light and added one warm light on the left. I put a white background in the lightbox and took a lot of photos of an empty glass coffee jar being filled with water. I chose a few miniature erasers from my eraser collection as my subjects. The ones that floated had the best topsy-turvy effect more than the ones that sank to the bottom. I shot the photos front on and cropped the edges of the jar out of the photos so that looked like the toys were in the sea.


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