Untitled #20 Monteray Bay Aquarium
c-print on plexi
20 x 24 in.
I began photographing aquariums while living in Japan. I found myself in an environment that allowed me to investigate the idea of displacement of identity. As I never visited my parent’s homes of Pakistan or The Philippines, this was my entrée into Asia. By being outside of the familiar, I was able to safely investigate identity while simultaneously being removed from it. This contradiction of examining identity both intimately and objectively is the basis of my work.
The formal aspects of color, depth, and framing of space are as important as the metaphor of the aquarium – new home to displaced sea life. I am conscious of the glass that separates me from what is inside, yet the result that I am after is relatedness. By going outside of the aquarium, I extend this investigation. Cultural identity and the concept of displacement is abstracted, magnified and multiplied.
© Yasmine Awais