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TEST PROGRAM / waking up in the future, in the past - Derrie Tan, Aj Nayake

waking up in the future, in the past - Derrie Tan, Aj Nayake

  • a person on a bed in a room

This set of photos is titled “waking up in the future, in the past”. These photos started as an homage to Derrie’s childhood home. Her parents bought this house when they immigrated to Canada from Malaysia, almost 30 years ago. Visiting her childhood home for the first time in a while, with AJ, felt like seeing the house through new eyes. It was nostalgia mixed with fresh old memories of childhood, and Derrie strangely resonated with herself as a six year old. We were both feeling depressed the day of the shoot, for separate reasons. The energy was low and we were feeling empty but decided to create. What we made was a raw expression of how we felt, comfortably sad. COVID-19 has required us to transition to a more digital reality giving some of us all the more reason to mindlessly scroll through hoards of online content. We’ve been thinking and talking to other artists about this excess consumption and what it means to us. It’s ok to be overwhelmed, it’s ok to be unsure; we’ve decided to meditate, investigate, research, connect and breathe through this time of uncertainty.


The model in the pictures is Derrie Tan and the photographer is Aj Nayake. Derrie is a practicing yogi and very fond of cats. Aj is a mixed media artist inspired by nature and technology and is usually found carrying no less than 5 cameras. They both enjoy conveying ideas and stories by creating through play and exploration.

Derrie’s IG: @derrie_queen

Aj’s IG: @na.yake

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