Angeline Simon, Penang, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist

Angeline Simon, Kuching II, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist

Angeline Simon, Penang, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist

Angeline Simon, Kuching II, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist

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All that we carry

Photography satisfies the human desire to record and remember, but photographs can be lost, forgotten, or fade with time, leaving us with questions about our not-so-distant past. Lethbridge-based artist Angeline Simon mines her family photographic archives for source material to create collages that span multiple time periods and geographies, fulfilling a human desire for connection and belonging. Grappling with the disconnection the artist feels to her Malaysian Chinese and German roots, All that we carry urges us to consider how culture and family history are altered or lost in the process of immigration.

Informed by early twentieth-century photomontage artists Hannah Höch and John Heartfield, Simon’s method involves cutting, pasting, and erasure, reinforcing the idea that memory is fluid and evolves over time. In addition to traditional collage methods, Simon uses a tool in Photoshop that replaces portions of the image with the surrounding content. In this process, an algorithm decides what is removed from or included in the image, infusing the works with an element of chance. For example, the figures of distant relatives become replaced with landscapes, leaving only the eerie and melancholy outline of ancestors lost through the passing of time. Simon, in this way, revisits and revises her family history, honouring her ancestors’ distant cultures while creating a new, subversive archive that tells a story of transcontinental immigration and resists the fading of intergenerational memory.

Presented in partnership with Evergreen Cultural Centre and TransLink

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