A place where birds gather, 2011
Digital C print, Dimensions Variable
Produced within intensely urban Hanoi, Vietnam, this is the study of a habitat that, in fact, does not exist. The photographs prey on the perception of the exotic; a Rousseau-like play on an environment in which certain indigenous species of plants, certain items of human utility, certain sources of nourishment and the people who interact with these things are seen in some arrangement together. The fictional forest is a manufactured one; the flowers, fruit and animals (the flora and the fauna) purchased in local markets or from street vendors and placed within some small area of green space in the dense urban landscape of the city. Typically the photographer and the subjects had previously never met - instead, randomly encountered people were invited to step into to the embellished environments, created in necessarily public places. The photographs show people who exist in places that never were. The view of the people inhabiting the frame is typical of that of an outsider, of one who looks upon but not in, and in turn is unnoticed. After these environments have been photographed and the people in them and the photographer have moved on, the installed elements were typically left in place both as a memory and a provocation.