Our conception of the reality around us is a continuous act of layering moments of experience. Yet, our sense of “a moment” is a fluid concept. What we see as real is only defined by our belief structure. Have we ever wondered whether time can arbitrarily weave together many moments—and in that intertwining, change our perception of the moment? What sense (or senses) do we use when perceiving time?

Using synesthesia, a neurological term for the mixing of senses, as a metaphor, this project probes the other side of probability and provokes the visual senses. By combining two layers of time, it creates an ambiguous experience that strives to offer a venue to encourage viewers to perceive themselves in the act of perceiving.

To create this project, images are blindly overlapped by rewinding film after it has been exposed. Adopting coincidence as a tool, two separate events—with no apparent or planned connection—are fused together by their colors and open an abstract space.

Through an entangled web of intended actions and unintended instances, the act of photography is transformed into a theatrical encounter, playing with the present moment. Even more, the quest of searching for the unseen emerges as a meditative monologue.

The photographs reveal more than merely abstract images. Because the coincidental approach often leads to an unforeseen result, it echoes the mysteries of life, thereby limiting our ability to calculate, plan or control. Thus, it is a silent, improvisational performance between two realities. When the seen and unseen meet—and strangeness and beauty intertwine—the light and shadow are merged into an overwhelming experience of infinite possibilities.

—Wen Hang Lin

Follow Lin’s work on his personal website and Facebook.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like these previous features: Mayah: Contemplative Ways of Seeing, a meditative series on the beauty and frailty of perception and Deconstructing the Self in America’s Southwest, a project that visually expresses a desire to find something more meaningful in our experience of the world.