Pleasure to present my interview with Celesty Lee and Alan Yip. Celesty and Alan are creators of Allele Playground, a creative platform for design, illustration, photography, travelogue and other creative projects.
Couple of weeks ago, i came across their ciao traveler project on vimeo and I was impressed with the concept and idea behind their project. I wanted to uncover more about their project and travel experience around the world. Fortunately they agreed, so with no further ado here is what we talked about. Enjoy!
What inspired you to do Ciao traveler project and what was the main message behind the project?
Celesty : The kindness and help i received from many people/strangers through out my Gap year inspired me to work on an app to connect people and increase kindness between travelers and locals. So this is a teaser for my promotional campaign.
We play hidden camera with people, to do an "experiment" in EVERY train terminal we passed by, to create gimmick and make noise, and to show there are many kind people in the cities who are willing to help strangers, and also to record the KINDNESS which then become tangible and visible.
Watching the video, there are some sadness and emotions, was there ever a period of time you felt like giving up the project?
Celesty : At the beginning, i was afraid of people staring. Also, some train terminals are too busy and hard to play hidden camera. My friend - the cinematographer helped a lot encouraging me to continue my project. During our journey , we had a tragic accident and lost footage of the "experiment" we had taken, that was my greatest depression ever.
However, we felt the trip must go on, it's just like our life.
Is there going to be more travel projects?
Celesty and Alan : We would like to explore Middle East or America. We currently want to finish editing the videos and photos we took in the Gap year.
The Most important thing we are working on is the development of the mobile app concept - Ciao Vela. The update will be available on : http://fb.me/i.allele
What are some of the biggest challenges you experienced.
Celesty : Carrying all the heavy stuff, the camera and lens, clothing for cold and hot weather, all that plus our primary mode of transportation - WALKING.
I will never forget the experience we dashed through a 1km journey from a ferry terminal to another one in Newcastle just to catch a ferry to Amsterdam.
Alan : Managing all the equipment and being a low budget traveler at the same time for this kind of long trip. The gears we brought are close to a small crew scale.
How did the experience and exposure to different cultures and people helped you as an individual? What is one major thing you learned from the experience?
Celesty and Alan : Don't hesitate to help and communicate with others.
In your opinion how will you define creativity.
Celesty : Creativity brings people the existing things in a brand-new way, making it interesting and inspirational.
Top 3 visually inspiring places.
Celesty and Alan : Greece, Nepal and Turkey (alphabetical order)
Current favorite spot.
Celesty : Nantes, France. The place where my host family and my muse are living.
Alan : Highland Scotland. The natural scenarios are so amazing.
How did you pick your locations and countries.
Celesty and Alan : Our main direction/goal was going back to Hong Kong from Europe.
We picked our locations mainly based on our budget, we selected places which weren't a far drift off our main direction.
Which country did you have the most remarkable experience and why.
Celesty and Alan : Turkey and Nepal, the people are very kind and warm.
Capturing images from around the world. What do you believe is the power of photography?
Celesty and Alan : It is an objective media and a way to tell people what you think about the world.
What do you like most about what you do.
Celesty : The positive feedback from people who saw our video - which arouse their initiative to go out and help out. I am so glad to see my mission being realized step-by-step to enlarge the ripple of kindness.