Matryoshka Studio x Ophelia Hong Kong: Pandora
'Pandora' tells a narrative of a young girl who is lost in a dream world. In the surreal world, she is presented with temptation in the form of a flower, and in turn gets trapped there. Throughout the film she experiences temptation, love, lust, entrapment, revenge and freedom. You decide how the story ends.
Collaboration with Ophelia Hong Kong.
What had been quiet and restful was now silent and empty. She was looking for something... anything...
There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable. Could this be what she was looking for all along? But didn’t she know...curiosity killed the cat.
Only a fool would believe that a bitter tree that bore bitter fruit would one day become sweet.
A prisoner is not the one who has committed the crime, but the one who clings to his crime and lives it over and over.
She never realized how lonely it felt in the midst of a war. Her demons fought back, devouring her from within. She fought, resisted for a while, but ultimately we are all built of contradictions.
She watched her demons perish as she rose from the fall. After all, there is no glory in triumph from a fight without peril.
The difficulty lies not so much in developing new experiences as in escaping old ones.
We are nothing but shadows. Fading away trying to hold on to a bittersweet memory that we call our own.
She said that revenge was not sweet, it was bloody. She was wrong. It was sweet. For one fleeting moment she felt incredible satisfaction. Then it was gone, empty, and all she tasted now was bitter ashes.
She felt a stiff silence as if she was caught in the eye of the storm. Merely an observer in the midst of the surrounding chaos.
For every path you choose, there is another you must abandon.
No one will ever know what she had been through nor what those eyes had seen, but she wore her battle scars with pride.
It becomes difficult to tell whether something is an opportunity or a trap when you’re least expecting it
Introducing Aanchal Wadhani
Interview by Patrick Chappelle
The first question I would like to ask, is about the name of your studio. From what I’ve learned of you thus far, you are of Indian heritage, but “matryoshka” is a Russian word. What does it mean, in relation to your studio?
The story behind “Matryoshka” goes back to when I was 16. My major in university was fashion design and my first company I started was a handmade jewelry brand which I called “Matryoshka”. The Russian doll is quite symbolic for me. The biggest one is me, and all the small ones inside are my passion, creativity, capabilities, etc. Eventually as my passion for photography grew, I decided to focus solely on photography and swapped my business from Matryoshka Jewelry to Matryoshka Studio.
What started you on your journey towards being a photographer? More specifically, what inspired you?
During my studies as a fashion design student, I was exploring the industry through styling, modeling and eventually retouching, because I became quite good at it. I made some pocket money from editing photos for other photographers, and started to learn about lighting, art direction and what they did right and wrong visually. I got my first DSLR camera to photograph my jewelry for my brand, but eventually it grew into something I was passionate to explore further. Photography is like a blank canvas I can fill with my imagination.
What is it about fashion that you find fascinating?
I fell in love with fashion because I saw that it allows us to be anyone we want to be. A character, or simply to express our moods or personality everyday. It's freedom and self expression.
How much are you personally involved in the concept of a photoshoot?
Whether it's a fashion editorial or a commercial project, I always art direct my own shoots. I really enjoy putting in fresh perspectives, challenging myself and bringing a vision to life! Aside from concept development, I also work with the makeup and hair team to come up with looks that work with the concept. I also either style my own shoots, or work closely with the styling team. Set design and props are also an area where I am fully involved in. To me, creating an image isn't just setting up lighting and pressing a button. It's actualizing a story. Making it believable and realistic for the audience. Having cohesiveness is key.
You’ve done acting, modeling and other things. Which of those things gives you the greatest satisfaction?
I love being on screen as much as I love being off screen. It's totally different and I really can't say which is better.
Since the birth of the art of photography, the world has always had women photographers, but more and more we’re seeing women behind the camera, sharing their unique visions. What is it like in Hong Kong for women in your line of work?
From when I started, there were definitely a lot less female photographers in the industry as there are today. It hasn't been the easiest, and there are definitely still people who I meet today that don't believe I can create professional visuals, being a girl. I assume it's the idea that gear, lighting and machines is a mans area. I haven't bothered to ask why the doubters doubt. I just shrug and move forward.
Do you still make time to model and act, or are you strictly focused on your studio?
I am very much involved on screen as much as I am working off screen. I believe that both are equally important to fueling my creativity.
Photography: Aanchal Wadhwani @ Matryoshka Studio
(www.matryoshka.ws) (instagram: @matryoshka_photo)
Model: Zamantha @ Quest Models (instagram: @zam_dy)
Makeup: Krishna Kanaiya @ Ksquared Makeup (instagram: @ksquared_mua)
Hair: Carol Au (instagram: @kakarolmakeup)