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    Out in the desert, staging scenes from dreams, or just staring out the window of their picturesque home in Western Ukraine, photographers Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven – collectively known as Synchrodogs – draw their creative inspiration from nature. Dedicated to creating beautiful imagery – sometimes to the point of injury– their final results are ethereal, surreal and often playful. Here, we asked them about their work, their home country and their life philosophies.
    Interview by Lu JiaYing, Photography by Synchrodogs.

    LJY-Ukraine obviously is an amazing country, sadly encountering loads of trouble these days. (God bless Ukraine.) I wanna start with a question about your childhood: what was your upbringing like growing up there?

    SD-Thank you for your supportive disposition. We are happy to be born and brought up in Ukraine, it’s a very friendly and faithful country. It made us raw and self-taught, and gave us best conditions to search for our inner senses, and to explore ourselves.

    LJY- Where is Synchrodogs based, and how is the art and fashion scene over there?

    SD-We are from Western Ukraine which is much nicer option for us. We travel a lot to different countries and it is great to come back to a quiet place, not to megapolis urban madness. There are always some simple (still vital) things that make us happy there, our bed and warm blankets, our friends and relatives, our window view (a lake with mountains behind it). Just a walk to have some coffee feels relaxing.

    So our life in Ukraine has nothing to do with any art activity (which exists without geographical limitations for us). Ukraine is developing all the time, more and more people do something new, if you are ever in Ukraine come visit Pinchuk Art Centre which is the biggest Ukrainian art foundation that deals with contemporary art and often presents works by Ukrainian artists. In 2013 we were nominated for Pinchuk Art Prize and also had a show there.

    LJY- The aesthetic in your photography is constantly linked to the dramatic poetry of nature. Explain the process of searching for those breath-taking locations and executing the projects at there?

    SD-Our attitude towards art changed since 2008, and was gradually moving from more spontaneous shootings to absolutely pre-planned and staged scenes. What hasn't changed through the years is our attitude towards nature that still is (and will probably always be) the biggest source of inspiration for us. The process of searching for unique locations is always self-sacrificing and absolutely devoted to best final result. We may come home totally scratched, after having to walk through a field of thorny bushes. But then we’ll have a proper photograph as a result; it is a very common story for us.

    LJY- A long time ago, you two encountered a super old-school internet platform (Flicker?) – sort of the beginning of our digital era. How has your digital development evolved along the way?

    SD-The primary point we are going to is something more general, it has nothing to do with magazines and publications, which are nice, but are just part of any career growth. The main aim is creating a strong art project which eventually leads to progress.

    LJY-What's the most impressive story you would like to share through these years of shooting experiences?

    SD-There are hundreds! One of the most recent was us having a one-month 6,500km drive through America, escaping from snakes in narrow slot canyons when they all come out after the sun goes down, seeing a real capricorn below a rainbow right after we managed to drive through the biggest snowy thunderstorm we've ever seen (with lightning bolt striking right in front of our car), almost dying in the desert when we ran out of water half-way back to our car, which was parked 200 huge dunes away...

    LJY- I love the fact that your photos are always joyful, humorous and elegantly out of control. The mood is always upbeat – so my next question is: What's your ingredients of a happy life?

    SD-Good sleep and dreams, receiving and giving small presents, eating Asian and Mediterranean food, living with small cats and making great adult cats out of them, driving motorbike outside the city at summer time.

    LJY- What are your current obsessions?

    SD-Tania loves collecting jewellery and also makes some, we even started our first charitable project where we sell all made-by-Tania exclusive pieces and spend the money to help people who are in urgent need, you can check CrystalTania project on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrystalTania

    Roman loves longboarding and recently started going crazy for lure designs and even bought his first Colorado spinning.

    LJY- By constantly living and working together, it must be hard to avoid synchronising with each other's tastes and habits, facial expressions even. In what ways do your tastes differ from each other?

    SD-Not much actually! Same clothing style, same music, same plans for future.

    LJY-What's the first thing you miss when the other is away?

    SD-We haven’t been away from each other for a while, but when it happens you just feel a bit lonely and need some sushi or kitten therapy.

    LJY-What do you think about your next step? Where do you picture yourself in the future professionally and personally?

    SD-We only plan on progressing in some way. We will have a solo show at the Dallas Contemporary Museum of Art this September, so we’ll be working on a new project a lot. In the future we just see ourselves happy and established. Hopefully we will be able to not only take something from the universe, but also to do something meaningful for it, to give something back. I hope with time, we will get clearer understanding of what this world needs.