Traditional Mediums (2019)

In the series, Speaking into the Air (2019), I ask what it means to believe in spirits in the 21st century. I use photography, a medium with complex associations to truth, to address the question. Depicted here, are women from my mother’s village of Lampang, Thailand, who practice the Lanna ritual of spirit mediumship. These women relinquish their individual identities, dress in Lanna costume and fall into a trance to embody the dead: spirits dance through them, smoke cigarettes and transmit their voices. I have pictured them against black backdrops to enhance the theatrical nature of their performances. In using photography to depict what cannot be seen but only believed, I align photography, as a mediator of the past, with the practice of mediumship.  

Mother's mother, 3
Mother's mother
50cm (W) x 85cm (H)
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle paper
Traditional mediums red scarf
Mother's mother, 5
53cm (W) x 80cm (H)
Pigment print on Hahnemuehle paper
Mother's mother, 1
Mother's mother, 1
80cm (W) x 53cm (H)
Pigment print on archival rag
Mother's mother, 2
Mother's mother, 2
80cm (W) x 53cm (H)
Pigment print on archival rag
Traditional mediums smoking
Mother's mother, 3
80cm (W) x 53cm (H)
Pigment print on archival rag
Mother's mother, 4
Mother's mother, 4
80cm (W) x 53cm (H)
Pigment print on archival rag
Mother's mother, 6
Mother's mother, 6
80cm (W) x 53cm (H)
Pigment print on archival rag


an artsphere website