Hi, My name is CHAUN SOH. As a teenager, I dreamt of becoming a photojournalist. I painted a romantic (and glamorous) picture of my future self — camera around the neck, bag slung over the shoulder, finger always on the pulse.
I thought this was a way to be a part of the stories and cultures of far-flung places. I assumed that this was what photojournalism was all about. And I came to realise I was in it for all the wrong reasons.
When I started my university studies in Toronto, I picked up several classes in mass communications. But aside from a couple of photography and darkroom courses, I wasn’t exactly passionate about anything else. And as soon as my mother said, ‘War zones are no place for a girl with a camera,’ I changed course. I packed up and moved to California where I completed a degree in Industrial and Commercial Arts and started my career in the creative industry.
I fell in love with design and yet somewhat ironically, went on to attain my Masters in Business Administration in New Zealand. Over the next two decades, I managed to make something out of them — a living that allowed me to experience and travel parts of the world that I had dreamt of doing as a teenager. I was lucky enough to have worked with many talented photographers in a variety of commercial projects.
In 2006, I made a conscious decision to move from working alongside photographers to being one behind the lens as well. I went back to my first love with analogue SLR photography and started to capture images extensively during my travels. Along the way, I also discovered the joy of using lo-fi film cameras. As my adventures take me deeper into the wilderness and mountain ranges, I have recently found the necessity to add a small compact digital camera to my gear.
During my travels over the last decade, I have often been inspired and saddened in equal measure by the human condition of the world. I have also been deeply humbled by the grace and beauty revealed to me by the most ordinary and mundane. And touched by how we all weave our lives and stories into the tapestry of humanity.
In January 2014, I started to blog about my vision for a book with the intent of bringing my images and their stories to light. I called it A Hundred & Eight Pages.
Throughout history, the number 108 has held a multi-dimensional meaning. 108 can be found in mathematics, astrology, in scriptures of various religions and beyond. I prefer to look at this number in its profound simplicity: 1 stands for god or the higher Truth; 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice; 8 stands for infinity or eternity.
It is my hope that the book will encapsulate at least some of this significance. Ultimately it is about making an impact, sharing how we can help heal the world, and obliterating the great invisible lines that divide us racially, culturally and spiritually. It is also about celebrations of gratitude that we are all linked together as ONE.
Thank you for being with me on this journey as I continue to capture images around the world, and work through A Hundred & Eight Pages. I hope you will use this website, and my blog in whatever way moves you.