Maybe it’s because my father sang to me the very first second he held me in his arms, or maybe because there was always music playing in all corners of the houses where we lived, but I simply can’t imagine what my life would be without music. There is music associated with everything I do, everything I see and everything I feel, as if there was a personal scoring in my head for every instant of my life. And it is rather strange as no one in my family is a musician.
I am born from French and Singaporean parents with Italian, Chinese, Latin-American, American-Irish and American-French ancestors. I grew up in a multicultural family and spent my youth in France, Bahamas, Switzerland, China, UK and the US and learned a few languages. But music remains the language that I love the most, deeply rooted in my mind, with a syntax that is both constantly fresh and universally accessible.
Exploring music is a way of exploring myself at the same time. It is a means of communication that offers expressions deeper and more emotionally than words alone can capture. Whereas words tend to pin down and mark meanings distinctly, music suggests possibilities of understanding that are unbounded for each listener, as it interacts with the inner emotional fiber of each and every one. This is why I love the interplay of sounds and images. Music can bring new narrative and infer new depths to an image, to the point of changing it altogether, accentuating the responsibility of the musician scoring a film.
In many ways it seems that I ‘see’ music and ‘hear’ images. Imagination is the obvious link between both. It naturally brought me to become a photographer, also at a young age. But this is Micky, an 8-month old baby boy I met at a small neighboring orphanage in Beijing, who gave me the vision I needed. Micky had been abandoned at birth in the freezing cold of the Yantai’s hillside, Shandong Province, in China and nearly froze to death. As a result, his left toe had to be amputated. Unfortunately, Micky was also diagnosed with a congenital complicated heart disease needing surgery, and fought through all kind of illness in his first year of life. I felt compelled to help from the day I saw him. Sadly, he passed away on February 14th 2009, but his silent courage was my inspiration to help unwanted children, abandoned not only by their parents, but also by a society in search of minimum responsibility and involvement. Since that day, my photographs have served to raise money for these children.
I feel that I was born conscious of being a part of a wide and multi-cultural world. As an adult, I am becoming more and more aware of my responsibility within it. I can’t imagine living selfishly and without regard for the world that surrounds us. And this sense of responsibility is probably the true underlying theme of what I do and how my life speaks, using art at its primary language.