Corridors of Light

Leng Ung

2018 - Ongoing

Chicago, Illinois, United States

This series is meant to question the strength of relationships. As a migrant - immigrating from Cambodgia to France because of the Khmer genocide, then France to the USA and recently from the USA to Canada, I experimented many separations with friends. Each time, it is the same interrogation: which relationship will be strong enough to survive yhe distance? So, I made this series to be a metaphor for life. Like a play, each corridor of the light in the city is an act. A scene. What I tried to do while shooting these images was to imagine that pedestrians were actors, actors who were all the time entering and exiting the city stage. I felt a relationship with these strangers who seemed to evanescently enter my life through one side of the stage, only to briefly occupy that spotlight and then leave on the other side of the stage. Fade to black. Gone.

While the vertical frame of these images portrays the scene—a North American city—the negative spaces should not only be seen to represent the immutable past, but also the unpredictable future. And consequently, my blacks are not merely shadow but voids - voids as the memory of me in the mind of people I left behind.

Many of us live in claustrophobic environments, in big cities with social media almost automatically finding relationships for us. Sure, it may appear that we have more and more “friends,” and for some of use, these friends span the world over. However, despite the new communication technology, a well-known idiom is saying “out of sight , out of mind”. And I often wonder who accompanies us in the life journey? And how strong are these bonds? can relationships survive distance and the shadows of our daily life? This series is really questioning the validity of our relationship to modern spaces. And as a deracinated person myself, this questioning is also an introspective inquiry.

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