123 Days Away (2009)
Souvenirs impulsively purchased and snapshots ritually performed by travellers and tourists alike are attempts to capture a prized moment and to progress an idealised narrative. Photographing and consuming justify and structure a tourist’s itinerary. The retained objects and images are, however, arguably limited to a few recognizable signifiers, exotic locations, ritual experiences and iconic monuments. Evidence that we saw the “must see” and did the “must do”. The traveler inevitably returns home to present their collection. The mementos are proof of the journey and condense the multifaceted experience into a romantic script. Forget the airport delays and arguments over money. Remember the sun setting behind an exotic temple.
123 Days Away captures and reconstructs the common rite passage traveling through Southeast Asia. Experience is ironically distant from the rhetoric of Lonely Planet or the glamour of Travel Photography.