Mahmah and Yeye’s Portraits (Grandma and Grandpa’s Portraits)
C-type hand prints in wooden frame,
set of 4, 24”x24”, 18”x11”, 18”x18”, 8”X10” wooden frame and paper, 2018
This series of photography is specially dedicated to my grandmother. In the past few years, I took images of my grandparents, sometimes just for the sake of capturing, and for once, upon their request. They seldom or never looked at these images, these images may not stay in their memory. They stayed in mine, but maybe not forever, even if I wished.
In 12th October 2013, Grandpa asked me to take funeral/memorial portraits for Grandma and him. I took a portrait of them together that night. This time, I re-photographed the digital photo with my film camera and turned it into hand-print.
In mid-September 2018, Grandpa gave me the film negatives of the Grandma and his portraits. He said that Grandma is getting old, we might need to prepare a bigger photograph of her. (He was implying the memorial portrait, by that time he had forgotten the portraits I took for them in 2013)
In 3rd September 2018, Grandma, in one month’s time, suddenly looked a lot more older and tired. I took a picture of her with my phone. And that was the last photo of Grandma I took.
Around one week later, I started this protect to hand print the portraits of Grandma and Grandpa. I re-photographed this digital photo I took using a film camera, and started to print it in the darkroom. For some reasons I feel some kind of sacredness in Grandma’s gesture and the sign of aging at the same time, I kept testing in the darkroom to seize that feeling. It was something vague at the beginning. I didn’t know it would be the last photo I took for Grandma at the time when I started the project.
Grandma passed away in 11th October 2018 and went through cremation on 25th October 2018 while 26th October was the opening of my photography show. I decided to add one last frame of the size 8”X10”, it’s the same design as the frame we chose to contain Grandma’s memorial portrait with a little notes on how we made the choice on the memorial portraits.
I spent most of the time in the darkroom during that period, testing out the prints in darkness. I didn’t know it would gradually turn out to be a farewell at the beginning, but the hand print process of this series happened along this gradual farewell to my grandmother.