Ning Kai and Sabrina Scarpa on Finding New Worlds

1. In a previous interview you said that you seek "a state of being in which the boundary between our cultures and backgrounds seems to blur" - how did you come to seek or desire this state?

What we have learned through these years of traveling together between East and West is the importance and necessity of pursuing an open mind. We found ourselves taking a step back to see the bigger picture of life and have been truly embracing it since we started to portray the land between us. In order to commit to our artistic mission we have to free ourselves from borders and self-imposed limitations. Art is a path to the universal.

2. Could you tell us about a time you two felt the boundaries between you blur? What brought that on?

Being detached from everything let us enter a world that is entirely our own. Each time when we are all by ourselves in the landscape making works, boundaries might seem to blur more easily, because there are less boundaries. In the end, the most important thing is that we both share the same amount of eagerness to connect with each other. As well as the same amount of compassion and respect for each other. We can feel united any time we want to by acknowledging we are walking the same road. It’s one of the greatest gifts and strengths we can give ourselves.

3. How does this state help you make art?

Imagination comes from the core of our being.

4. Why is it important for you to have these boundaries blur?

It deepens our connection with each other and creates understanding of what it means to be human.

5. Does getting lost impact on your life outside of the art you make?

Everything has an impact on you, everything has some effect and eventually, everything connects. In a way, photography has become our life. It’s a way of living. Through photography, we get to see the world. Getting lost basically means going exploring. The journey we are on broadens our horizons and expands our lives. It’s all about experiences and going into the unknown. It becomes a road to self-discovery.

6. Wilderness seems to be reflected in your photographs. Does getting away from it all make it easier to find fundamental common ground?

The wild places are where we began. There is nothing, yet everything. Earth is our common ground, the essence of our existence.

For us, there is something so comforting about being part of something greater than ourselves - to feel small in the face of nature. We become equal whenbeing human is all we are. There is a beauty and clarity that comes from the simplicity of the natural world that we often overlook.

7. How can we get lost in modern life? Is it always geographical or emotional separation?

Nowadays, the technology seems to deliver the world into the palms of our hands. The constant flow of information and ‘communication’ distract us from discovering by going out and coming across things. There is a need for a sense of control all the time. But are we in control of or controlled by?

We believe that getting lost is like a state of mind. Allow to lose yourself in the things you love, lose track of time when you can and don’t carry too much baggage. Surrender.

8. Do you feel like landscapes intensify emotions?

We feel that nature can release everything that you feel inside. It speaks clearly. It gets into our souls and opens doors to every hidden part of ourselves. Perhaps the fact that nature is neutral, allows us to just be.