For more than 10 years, I have been suffering from depression. It has caused me to think about life’s meaning. My feelings about death are paradoxical — I dread to think about the demise of people I love, but I feel indifferent and apathetic about my own.
In 2018, my Australian mother, for whom I felt a deep affection, passed away due to brain cancer. This was the first time I witnessed the death of someone I knew, and I experienced a profound depth of grief. I encountered uncertainty about my significance in the larger scheme of the universe. My understanding of such concepts and beliefs about my meaning in life was challenged.

I encountered a sentiment a few days after she passed away — ’You can’t walk this earth forever; someday you will have to fly’. This is what she used to tell her sons when they were kids. Somehow these words consoled me, and have accompanied me since. Her words inspire me not to be obsessed with the state of living and to accept mortality as part of life.

Starry Kong is a Melbourne-based visual artist who was born in Kunming, China. She obtained an Honours degree in photography from RMIT University, Australia in 2020. Starry is interested in the intangible and inexpressible sentiments that are characteristic of humankind. She explores this phenomenon through her own experiences of loss, grief, alienation and her long-term mental illness, which has become the foundation and origin of her creative practice. Starry uses photography as the primary medium to express her inner feelings and thoughts, while metaphor and symbolisation constitute her visual art language.