Photographing History’s Silences and Gaps, Jennifer Hattam, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [26/10/2022]Marilena Pateraki
ISTANBUL — When Singapore-born artist Sim Chi Yin came across an old black-and-white photograph of a man with a camera hanging around his neck, the discovery prompted a nearly decade-long quest. The story she tells through her photographic, video, and archival work is one that has been as omitted from official narratives as that man, her grandfather — a leftist newspaper editor and activist imprisoned, deported, and eventually executed for his political beliefs — had been erased from Sim’s own family history.
“Art provides space to look into these silences and these gaps,” Sim said at an artist talk during the opening events for the 17th Istanbul Biennial, which takes archiving as one of its recurring subjects. The biennial highlights her ongoing artistic research into her grandfather’s story and the larger anti-colonial struggle waged in British Malaya (today’s Malaysia and Singapore) during the mid-20th century. This meticulously crafted and quietly powerful work probes the ways in which the past reads differently depending on how and by whom history is written.
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