Earlier this year I visited Taiwan to take part in a cultural exhange programme initiated by Kev Ryan of Charnwood Arts, Soulangh Cultural Park and Professor Ming Turner of National Cheng Kung University, Tainan.
Architectural structures and spaces particularly resonated with me. The campus of National Cheng Kung University, with its mix of modern and old Japanese colonial style buildings provided an interesting visual and emotional experience. Likewise Shueijiaoshe Cutural Park, a former air force military dependents village was intriguing. Some parts of the complex remain in semi-ruinous state, beautiful mosaic floors exposed to the elements, whilst contemporary renovation to other parts has resulted in a beautiful layering of past and present. The rich cultural history and sense of collective memory felt palpable.
Photographing my colleagues as they wandered amongst these buildings prompted reflection on the sense of liminality that these spaces seemed to acquire in that moment, people moving between one place and another, between one experience and the next, passing through.
Through overpainting these photographs, using paint’s capacity to hide and reveal, I have begun to explore ideas about human presence in time and space and to reflect on how we store and recall experiences. The painted ‘haze’ is a visualisation of the ephemeral nature of these moments, describing the sense of almost immediate ‘pastness’ and loss which I felt the second the photograph had been taken. These are early experiments which I aim to take through into printmaking and painting.
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