Natasha's House (2015)
Single Channel HD Video with Sound, 8:03
Made with vernacular photography collected from the family of Natasha Anak Dennis in Saratok District, Sarawak, East Malaysian Borneo. Tropical jungle heat has treated the photo emulsions, producing a richly withering sense of decay. The Iban people of Sarawak, whilst still commonly living in rural longhouses, are firmly placed in the contemporary world, yet are paraded by the Malaysian government and in international travel literature (such as Lonely Planet) as exotic specimens, continuing colonial traditions of subjugation and Orientalist exploitation. Behind every 'exotic specimen' is a real human story, the life and existence of which are an active threat to the image of the exotic Orient. The culture of tourism thrives off perpetuating these exoticising myths which have no place in the contemporary world. Vernacular family photography demonstrates that despite divisions of culture, power and history, we share a common humanity; quotidian, graceful, and shifting through time, we are all together in watching memories of the late 20th century fade into history.
Exhibited for Art Nova 100, Agricultural Exhibition Hall, Beijing, China