by Tammy Law
September 1 – 15, 2017
Wednesday – Friday 1-6
Saturday – Sunday 12-4
Away From Home The story of the transnational diaspora from Burma is significant to further our understanding of the world, as people fleeing conflict is an increasing dominant story of our time. Because of the complexities of their repeated movements, these narratives disclose an ongoing negotiation of their inner self with the external world across time and place. While this project makes specific reference to the transnational diaspora from Burma, identity, home, belonging and family are common to us all.
This transnational community from Burma stretches to all corners of the globe – from Asia to America, Europe, the Pacific, and even the Middle East – with the largest groups resettled in America and Australia, and many internally displaced and across borders of neighbouring countries.
Away From Home investigates the impact of migration on transnational families from Burma, dealing with how the impact of geographic displacement manifests within the everyday reality of transnational lives. These works develop new understandings of the multidimensional complexities of being a refugee through the dualities of permanence and impermanence, belonging and displacement and absence and presence.
Implanted within my memory is my experience of being a child of Chinese migrants and the bubble of Asian/Australianess within which I live. My travels through Asia and the differences between ‘here’ and ‘there’ act as catalysts for my interrogation of transnational mobility as well as the sense of ‘disconnection or unhomeliness’ arising from my experiences. My attitudes and understanding of migration and diaspora have been influences through my family’s long history of dispersal to different parts of the world. As anthropologist, Lok Siu writes, ‘it has made me more attuned to the messiness, unevenness and meaningfulness of migration’. As a result of these early experiences, I developed some sense of what it means to belong in motion, living at home and away from home all at once.
The series combines typological portraits, domestic landscapes and psychological environments to comment on the multidimensional complexities of being a refugee – both home and away – and expand on longstanding traditions of documentary photographic practice. Framed photographs of various sizes will embody the space. The works will be placed in a constellation like hanging – similar to Todd Hido’s works at Reflex Gallery in Amsterdam or Cristina De Middel’s works at Dillon Gallery, New York. Images from the homes in Burma will be projected into the space.