A sense of place

Art September 09, 2017 01:00

By The Nation

Malaysia photographer makes his debut in Thailand this month with a solo exhibition “A Trace of Mortality” opening this evening at 6.30 at Kathmandu Photo Gallery.



The show, which continues through October 28, features 15 pieces from his years of creative production, running from 2001 and 2014, and offers a vivid taste of the artist’s disquieting ability to fill the world with invisible watching eyes.

They include the black & white series, “Haunted School” (2001-2002), which focuses on a school building at night, empty of students, and the bright clean series, “Institutional Care” (2005-2007), in which a newborn child lies by itself in a basin under ultraviolet lamplight. The simple angle and composition suggest that the baby is being watched by someone or something from a distance. In another photo, a fresh new bouquet of flowers has been left on the floor outside a hospital room.

In “Seascape” (2014), taken at the Cambodian seaside, a giant painted plaster crab with the legend “Welcome to Kep” seems to clack its claws in homage to the noon sun, yet the sea, normally full of waves, is smooth and unmoving. 

Chong, 40, graduated with an MA in International Contemporary Art and Design Practice from the University of East London and a BA (Hons) in Photography from London College of Printing. Besides his production of photographic work, Chong is highly engaged with the Malaysian photographic community, taking on the role of mentor for the Goethe Institut Malaysia’s Nikon Shooting Stars programme and Exposure+ Workshop.

His work can also be viewed on www.EiffelChong.com.