Samsara is a visual reflection of Ng’s relationship with the balance of the world and its natural elements. First started in 2018 on a trip to the pyres of Varanasi, the work began in earnest in Singapore in 2020 at the time of the pandemic, when the world we once knew changed forever, casting us into the dark ocean of uncertainty and loss. Overwhelmed by the chaos of the world and the end of connections once thought permanent, Ng turned inwards to question himself and the relationship he has with his surroundings as a means of escape and reflection. Aided by the teachings of the Buddhist doctrines Anitya (Impermanence), Samsara (Cycle of Life), and the ancient Chinese book of wisdom known as the I Ching, he began to comprehend the rhythmic cycle of all life and its harmonious connection with each other. As he immersed himself into his surroundings, releasing all attachments and existing simply as a living element in sync with all other living elements, he discovered a sense of tranquility and realms of mystical mysteries. This impermanent state in which all elements merge and dissolve, are born and eventually die, creates a balance, an equilibrium cycle for all living things in our present world. Drifting away to the currents of the flow, he follows its uncharted course, embracing the various forms of beginnings and endings, listening to the messages they whisper and deciphering their meanings.
Alvin Ng has been following the ebbs and flow of daily life for the past six years, fuelled by an enduring passion for humanity and spirituality. This has led him to meet and document individuals and communities such as the holy Hindu Aghoris, the Pyres of Varanasi, and as far as the inner world of cosplaying in the heartlands of his own country, Singapore. Through photography, Ng talks and listens to the experiences of people. He understands their happiness and their hardships. With these relationships forged and with a glimpse of their wisdom received, he passes on their stories to you.
Ng’s project Samsara was selected as Story of the Week by PhMuseum, UK (2022). He has also been selected in the PhMuseum’s Top Picks of 2021 and the Lenscratch Favourite Photographs of 2021. Ng’s has been a finalist in the Verzasca Foto Awards, Switzerland (2022), shortlisted in the Belfast Photo Festival, UK (2022), and shortlisted for the Rotterdam Photo Festival 2022, NL.