The piece plays out like a dream, quick and forceful. The viewer rushed through impossible angles. It runs on pure feeling. SamJ‘s video work Tides of Identity pushes the audience through an imagined complex of concrete and iron — a train station, a courtyard, a church? As we move through, a variety of figures stare us down, welcoming. Each unique in costume but familiar in build. Each, a self-portrait of the artist in their various identities.
The collection of identities stand at the rim of a tiered fountain. A queue of hooded figures, await their turn in the water. Tides of Identity acts as allegory for the discovery of the true self — once baptized in the fountain, the blank and identical figures reveal their true nature and join the welcoming identities, as honest versions of themselves.
Created in a combination of Cinema 4D, Unreal Engine, and After Effects, SamJ pushes Tides of Identity beyond the rigidity of technology and into the realm of sincere and vulnerable art. SamJ expresses the process of self-discovery, the denial of those common societal roles and depictions we accept for ourselves. This growth is shown as ritual, a rite abundant with joy and self fulfillment. Tides of Identity is the artist honoring their own journey and also showing that it is a journey we can all go on.
Tides of Identity and more work from SamJ are available at SuperRare