The Enigma of Objects



Project Overview: This project invites photos of objects from personal collection, with reflections on why they remain special and what they evoke. Submissions are curated on instagram, offering a peek into contemporary material culture through crowd-sourced artifacts and stories.

Edition 1 / AT HOME : The pandemic has us sheltering in place, amidst a collection of objects that help us feel at home. Most objects we live with are chosen for their function. A select few escape mere practicality and acquire sentimental value. Even staunch minimalists reserve a category for objects that spark joy, some morsels of materiality become vessels of hope, of nostalgia, of grief.

This project seeks to understand:

  • What kinds of objects become timeless and serve as reminders of who we are?

  • How do some objects stay relevant in a culture obsessed with disposability and innovation?

  • Why do we hold on to heirlooms, artifacts, found objects, souvenirs, and what do they mean in the context of our own transience?





Submissions: To feature an object from your personal collection on this instagram-based exhibition, please send the following to enigmaofobjects@gmail.com or via instagram messenger:

  • 2 photos of an object from your personal collection. See photo guidelines below.
  • A short text on its significance and what it evokes for you. Max. 500 characters.
  • Your name and city. You may use a pseudonym if you wish to stay anonymous.



Photography: Whether capturing your object with a phone or camera, photos should be taken under natural light, against a white backdrop, and in focus. A square photo framing the entire object is recommeneded, you may also include some detail shots if you wish.

  • Ensure good lighting. Shoot next to a window during the day, where there is plenty of indirect daylight. Avoid harsh shadows from direct sunlight.

  • Create a neutral backdrop. Drape a white sheet, use white paper, or shoot against a wall to give the object a uniform background.

  • Framing and focus. Choose a square frame on your device, if available. Keep steady. and check that the object is in focus.

* The curator may edit submissions for consistency.