Our family home in the province rings with silence – piled up in several nooks are stacks of boxes sent from overseas as gifts to the few who have been left behind; toys once owned by my cousins are left unattended, broken; the once lively factory for weaving baskets, which for us kids was a playground during our summer holidays, has become musty, and is now the subject of ghost stories.
It seemed inevitable. Like the rest of my family members, I had to leave, too. Like them, I had to sift through my belongings and decide which objects to take and which to leave. Indeed, packing can be a torture, for you can only take with you a fraction of the memories you would like to have handy. It was even more heartbreaking this (third) time, for I took on the task to weed out those objects, damaged by nature and time, ignored and forgotten all these years by others who had left before me.
The Un/Natural State of Things is a series of photographs of decomposing books, which were once owned by my family members. I focus my lens/attention on old, neglected possessions – objects that provide glimpses of my family’s history. Now bug-infested and severely damaged by frequent flooding, these books are among our souvenirs from a long time ago, from before we all got caught in this complex world of international migration.
Exhibited at: Du Mois Gallery, New Orleans, from November 11-December 3, 2010