Backbone

Worldwide millions of people suffer from chronic pain, and I, had never imagined I would be one of them. My journey of pain and suffering began whilst being perfectly fit and healthy, in August 2018.

Suddenly, debilitating pain ran down my leg. The intensity of which, almost made me unable to move.  Diagnosed with a prolapsed disc, I was unexpectedly jolted along a painful journey of surgery, physiotherapy and painkillers. What is more, this come at a time when I was already suffering.

Typhoon Mangkhut, Hong Kong’s most intense storm, hit the city in September 2018 and had caused extensive damage. Uprooted trees and destruction was everywhere and the busy city had come to a complete standstill. Yet, afterwards, the streets were cleaned methodically and damaged trees transported to the former airport. Any signs of the typhoon soon vanished, and so too did my pain after surgery. For me, this was not the end of the story. I was to suffer from a second, and third, prolapsed disc.

My series titled ‘Backbone’ depicts, on the one hand, my own journey of pain which I share with thousands of suffers of severe back pain and sciatica. On the other hand my work analyses the extent of the destruction caused by the typhoon, and compares this to the effects of man-made climate change. 

Photos of myself and my pain are juxtaposed to destroyed trees and cut branches, to underpin the vulnerability of both man and nature. Using the key as visual analogy, obviates the simultaneity of the damage. The echo of my personal pain is be seen in the devastation of the terrain around me. Similarly, this damage to nature leaves an echo in my inner all-encompassing disorderly world of pain. 

Within my body of work, I raise the following questions: Can a cure be found? and  Do we need to change our habits drastically, to heal ourselves and our surrounding nature?