1996 - 1998, Silver gelatin print, 147 x 121 cm
Simryn Gill’s Forest is a series of 16 photographs examining the legacy of colonialism, through text, in particular the disciplines of botany and ethnology associated with Western engagement in Gill’s homeland of Malaysia. The three images from this series included in the exhibition initially appear to be technically accomplished images of dense foliage rendered in sharp detail, yet on closer inspection, one realises that certain details are constructed using strips of texts torn from the pages of a book. While legible, they are nonetheless incomprehensible, an apt metaphor for the impact of colonial knowledge on the cultures of Southeast Asia.
Photo courtesy of the artist and Tracy Williams, Ltd., New York