Women in Film & Photography 2023 Exhibition
The Future of (a Work that is Buried in a Hard Disk) | LOW PEY SIEN

In 2020, during the lockdown, I spent about two solitary months in a warehouse-turned-arts space, where I began making a visual diary of myself. It started as an exercise to express myself through my body and my flesh, with the use of different movements, framings, props, sets, and lighting. I had fun making these self-portraits, but many questions emerged for me as well: Why the feeling of shame? Why was there this desire to be naked? What was I examining? The diary felt shameful, and I did not have the courage to share the images – they remained a work-in-progress, buried inside the hard disk.

Coming from a traditional Chinese-Malaysian environment, I’ve grown up associating nudity with the negative connotations of lust, shame, and immorality. However, I still feel conflicted. I believe that the revealing of bare skin should be associated instead with universal humanity, beauty, and self-empowerment.

During my period of isolation, I found freedom and safety as I was away from the confines and expectations which come when living with others. Putting aside my shame, I have perhaps found the courage now to bring this further.

About Low Pey Sien
Low Pey Sien (b. 1991) is a Malaysian artist from Kuantan, Pahang, who is currently based in Kuala Lumpur. She works in photography, film, and graphic media. Trained as an architect, her works observe the relationship between space, place, and people.

For the rest of our Women in Film and Photography 2023 programme, visit here.