Temporary Residents (2020)

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Taking these photographs in my home country of Malaysia, I felt the comfort of my home being embedded into the film as I opened the shutter and left it up for five minutes. Through the physical presence of the sun, the time I spent within the spaces, the sunlight seeped in and ingrained the image onto its emulsion-coated surface. Yet, I also felt nostalgic. Nostalgic... maybe, because the spaces that I stood in are the spaces that my grandparents currently occupy and walk in. It is the space of the house they currently live in. But it isn't the spaces they had walked since childhood. In childhood, they had lived in different houses. 

The house I stepped through, snapping the spaces of my grandparents, was a renovated space; a present space, while my grandparents have had experienced spaces of the past; spaces that no longer exist. Through my lens, their essence was captured, yet was never really there, to begin with. Here, in this current space, they have only entered recently, and will stay temporarily, until they move on again.

 

Spaces meeting, spaces walked in, spaces left. Yet, the spaces in itself were never really there.

 

We live in spaces every day, flitting through unaware like a dream. And so, it is this ephemeral, temporal space they lived in, that I want to explore. A space that existed while my grandparents are still alive, because I know that one day, they will leave, moving on somewhere else where we won’t be able to come back to this space. So I focus on that space between their life and death, celebrating the lifetime they lived through the spaces they inhibited. So that perhaps in some way, even though I may not be able to take this with me to a space after they have died, for a moment, I know that it existed; that my grandparents existed within it; and that I captured it. 

In time, my grandparents will die, and in time, their traces will eventually fade away. But just because we forget the spaces they walked in; doesn't mean they weren't there. This will be how I will remember them, to show them that I loved them, still love them, and will continue loving them, beyond material boundaries.