Lost and Not Found

Sila King

2013 - 2014

I started this project by photographing scenes that are based on personal memories. In a sense, I was trying to create images of unmade photographs of my past. There were two important life events that I believe shape my emotional state which is important for this work.

The first one is the unamiable divorce of my parents during my early childhood. Shortly after the divorce, they moved far away from each other. As a result, there was always separating, missing, being in between, choosing one over another growing up. Later in life I moved to the US and during that period I lost several important characters of my childhood. Even though I understood what happened as a fact, the physical separation prevented me from experiencing it completely. Because of these separations, the questions like what is home, where do I belong to, who I became got blurred over time.

I consider myself to have had a happy childhood despite the complicated family situation. However, working on this project I realized I was mostly finding sadness in my memories. In some instances the sadness was present in the memory itself, but more often the process of remembering alone created a sad tone by emphasizing what has been lost forever. The more that I dug, the more I realized how much I don't know the little girl in my memories. The more I tried to relate to her, mimic her, pretend to be her, the more I got distanced. I read my images as my futile effort to relate to an earlier self.

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