I like to try things that I never did before, to expand my perceptions of the world. I find myself fascinated by the opportunity to try to create new fables with my own heroes, the chance to transform my inner feelings of the world to visual form, from chaos to cosmos. This idea holds a powerful attraction for me, the freedom of choice and will.

Using a camera and people and props to bring my inner world into “reality” helps me to be, to feel, to reside in my own life, to delight and observe a changing world in my pictures. I’m very interested to move deeper, to go wider, to unlock the unknown and solve the equation.

I explore the theme of uniqueness and diversity of each person, the connection between inner and external worlds. I break the conventions in which I was placed and try to create my own rules of communication with the universe. I am inspired by the idea of combining the incompatible, creating something out of nothing, seeking amazing coincidence — all of which then develop into a unique stories.

— Alena Zhandarova

Editor’s note: See some remarkable earlier work by the same photographer, as featured in LensCulture in 2013: City of Brides.