What kind of relationship will I create with the west as an Asian student? As I travel around the world, inhabiting these dislocated locations, I wonder what kind of connections and bonds with these sites of habitation I experience? In the time-space transitions that are constant, ongoing, I am caught in an illusion: some spaces evoke the feeling that I have experienced before; some make me feel that this is not traveling but returning to my hometown. What is the relationship between people and place, and how do they distinguish between each other? When we return to a familiar place in our hometown, do we really return to our hometown or is this an illusion: the illusion of the “homesickness” that we could not return?
When a person has been living in a place for an extended period of time, he or she may establish a certain dependence on the land. Obviously, the deepening of this relationship is not simply a superposition of time units. When a wandering traveler returns to his hometown, his heart may feel a sense of peace because of a familiarity with the place. But in fact, this kind of tranquility is an illusion, and we are unable to return. This is a relationship we establish with the land and place at some point in the past. Therefore I ask myself, whether this relationship we have with a certain place determines our distinction between different locations, or whether our presupposition of different locations determines our relationship with it. I believe that there are certain potential connections between cultures, values, and natural geographies in the world, and that these connections are only for the traveler. As I continue to think about my relationship with various places, I am even more convinced that these are locations to which I can no longer return. These relationships only existed in the past, moments when I travelled to these places. Here and there for me, in my own sense, it is essentially the same.
When I enter and observe this place as a tourist, an international student, or an inspector, l leave clues in these photos of my identity. I went to these locations at various times in different identity roles and created a totally different relationship between them and me. There are some potential similarities among my multiple connections to these locations. The shooting behavior includes my identity as the default entry into the field and implies the involvement of some of my personal empirical observations. So these potential similarities are only established for those who are subject to the observational intervention.
In these pictures, I gather results from my personal “gaze”. According to Heidegger "vorliegenlassen" or "legen", the process of uncovering the obscured object is the presence of the present. It is hoped that these places, and the presence of the observer, will be zpresent in the viewers imagination.
Exhibited in Beaconsfield Gallery, London