Sim Chi Yin’s photographic work lays bare the monumental challenges our planet faces, and simultaneously provides personal accounts of human existence by uniting intimate storytelling with documentary photography. Her research-based practice encompasses moving image, archival interventions and text-based performances. The ongoing project Shifting Sands, parts of which are presented in this issue, grew out of an interest in the history and society of her home country Singapore, which is the world’s largest importer of sand per capita. Sand is one of the world’s most used resources, and its global depletion has serious environmental and social impacts. The second work shown in this Paper Edition is part of the photographic series Burmese Spring. It documents the air of optimism that filled the streets in Myanmar in 2012 when Nobel Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi headed the opposition. To Chi Yin, this moment was the “embodiment of all the hope that many Burmese [had]”, revealing both the resilience and fragility of a hopeful nation desperately longing for better times to come.
Sim Chi Yin, Burmese Spring, 2012, © Sim Chi Yin
Sim Chi Yin, Shifting Sands, Malaysia, 2017 – ongoing, © Sim Chi Yin
Sim Chi Yin, Shifting Sands, Singapore, 2017 – ongoing, © Sim Chi Yin