“I forsake my own country, I will leave my own motherland behind and become one with this earth. I have no nation, no philosophy, no ideology; I live in my own shadow world. I believe in no country, no government, only in myself. I am empty, formless, and shapeless. I am nothingness. The mark of a true artist is that they do not seek glory, they succeed from the shadows.” — Sharaf Alhothi
Does Nothing Mean Empty?
If two bodies are separated by nothing, should they not be in contact? If our beliefs and ourselves are separated by nothing, should we not be the one we believe in? Being that, how can “emptiness” keep things or us apart?
While we continue to struggle with such notions, our idea of the vacuum has moved on. Empty space is richer than a mere absence of things – and it plays an indispensable part in much of modern physics.
Revealing The Heart Of Reality
With the relentless rise of humanity, we slowly realise the very heart of reality. That is when we peel off the obscuring layers and revealing the core, we have come to aware that there is “nothing”. Indeed, the grand triumph for nothing. Certainly, “nothing” is a rich and subtle subject, which we can only come close to understand, but would never.
So, what is nothing?
Fortunately, in this series of photography “Nothingness”, the photographer Sharaf Alhothi provides a new meaning to the intangible voids, which has led to a breakthrough.
Why Nothing Matters?
For as much as we argue for our own philosophy, ideology, religion, government, Sharaf connotes that all this eventually leads to nothing. But, why “nothing” matters since we have no reason to do, want, or feel anything.
In this series of photograph, Sharaf suggests that the true meaning of “Nothingness” is often misunderstood. Being empty or being nothing does not mean nothing exists at all. What it does mean is that things do not exist the way our grasping self supposes they do.
This leads to the next topic, the “Positive Emptiness”.
Certainly, positive emptiness can only occur when we allow ourselves to surrender to a given situation completely, with trust. It also needs to be done without compromise or a feeling of regret for what we lose when we gain emptiness. We cannot have an alternative to emptiness in mind, or feel fearful of it, or hope to gain something from it. Otherwise, it will not work.
Is It The Edge of Human Understandings?
Since nothingness seems so difficult to understand, why did Sharaf bother to even start digging the hole at the first place? Sharaf reveals during the interview that, through his continuous searching for the answer, he has gained some profound insight into the “Nothingness”. Being nothing, seeing nothing, be formless, be shapeless. This is what Sharaf Alhothi would love to conclude.
Ultimately, we suffer because we grasp after things thinking they are fixed, substantial, real and capable of being possessed by ego. It is only when we can see through this illusion and open ourselves, then we can relax into clarity, compassion and courage.
More From Sharaf
This series of photographs is Not For Sale. They are special and unique to Sharaf as they represent the deepest part of his soul. However, you can collect his other series of artwork here which is very much affordable for such a wisdom hidden behind.
You can also read more about how he jumps out from the ordinary lens and translate his artistic vision into a photograph in the previous post.