As She Forgets
Forgetting is a form of death ever present within life. - Milan Kundera
As She Forgets is a photographic journal that is both an archive of my grandmother’s life, as well as a personal reflection as I grapple with her forgetting. As my grandmother loses her memory to dementia, the repeated painful stories of her past which have defined her throughout my lifetime—her motherless girlhood; the isolation she felt after marriage as she was left with my grandfather’s family in India, while he continued to work in Hong Kong; the isolation that followed her here when she finally came to join him—all begin to dissolve. Witnessing this forgetting, I am unknowing the woman I knew her to be. Using old family photos, hand-written notes, my own analog 6x9 photographs, and painting with turmeric paste (a home-remedy my grandmother would apply to heal my own bruises from child-play falls), I invite the viewer to follow my own journey as I remember her stories and then forget them along with her. This series contemplates the impermanence of identity while I rediscover another woman—a yellowing woman, but no longer stained by past bruises.