images captured with a phone camera, printed on slides, mounted on slide viewers, 2011
As an international student living in London, I do not have a permanent place to live. My ‘contract’ with that intimate space, home, has always been decided by the schedule of the academic year. Intentionally and accidentally, I have moved more than twelve times in the past six years. Every time I had to perform the task of packing and moving, I meditated on what I could really bring with me. How could I pack the memories of this private space, my base in the city for that period?
This project has explored the ideas of familiarity and foreignness in different cities:
First, I searched for the addresses at which I had lived on Google StreetView, using the interactive software to find the image that corresponded to my memories of the specific locations.
Second, I placed the constructed miniature interior spaces in front of a laptop screen, and photographed the set with the camera phone. The process of constructing the set gave me a chance to scrutinise my memories, and the use of the camera phone gave me more freedom to explore my relation to the miniature spaces.
Third, the same elements (furniture, personal belongings…) were staged and arranged differently in each image. This process worked as a filter to purify my personal perception of the home(s).
Finally, I printed the photographic images on slides, and mounted them on slide-viewers, calling to mind the idea of the souvenir.
The purpose of constructing the miniature settings was to deliberately invoke the flash of memory, and to disturb the fixity of time and space. By constructing and photographing the miniature settings, I have finally packed and moved the home(s) with me.
© 2014 YinHua Chu