Trincomalee

Artist book, bound by hand featuring 13 b/w photographs

2011

Showcased:

*LCC Summer Shows, University of Arts London 2011

*Shilpakala Academy Dhaka 2012

*Wolfensohn Gallery, Worldbank HQ, Washington D.C .2013

*Colombo Art Biennale 2014

*Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London, UK, 2015

This is a work about a journey—a journey to a place where the objective of a photograph ponders an evolving interplay between its fragile and fugitive existence. At a personal as well as academic level, my own research into the role of photography in South Asia highlights the different meanings that photography, inhabits, often dealing with the notions of memory wherein the personal archive inhabits a fundamental space, both aesthetically and practically within non-western cultures.
Sri Lanka’s Trincomalee became synonymous with the war-ravaged northern region. In contrast, my father’s stories are not nostalgic ruminations on its political history but naïve and beautiful little conversational episodes between a Tamil girl and a Sinhalese boy, describing a childhood lived in innocence free from existing social restrictions. It is a visual journey to a forgotten past preserved in my mind’s eye through precious oral histories relayed by my father. Though they are at times ambiguous and ungraspable I have tried to formulate them into touchable and palpable pictorial narratives.
Relying on images, the writing is based on the idea of the interweaving of father/daughter memories separated into sections embedded within the descriptions of the actual journey. The juxtaposition of memory and the different stages of the journey give an idea of the reasons for the journey.
Because of the interest in approaching the medium of photography through the practice of writing it is written in a filmic style in order to let the reader participate in my experience, imagining the scene instead of enforcing visuals through the photographs.

 

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