I wish to work on a new media project looking at the manifestations and consequences of inter-generational trauma. Consisting of photographs, collage, text, and installation, the project takes its line of inquiry from the intergenerational transfer of trauma phenomenon, first recognized in the 1960s in the children of Holocaust survivors. Since then, it has been identified in several groups around the world, including children of refugees in Cambodia and Vietnam. The lack of treatment and resolution among adults can alter the genes in their children, causing trauma to literally be passed down from generation to generation. More broadly, mental health and self-care has risen in visibility in recent years, along with the recognition that our childhoods play a significant role in perceiving and reacting to the world around us. Considering the socio-political circumstances in Berlin, particularly in reference to the wave of migration since 2015 and the traumas that migrants have undergone, the project speaks to the multiple, complex ways in which individual healing needs to take place in order to shape society for the better.
My practice lies in ethnography and the observation and analysis of lived experiences. Throughout my time in Berlin, I will be calling for participants to be interviewed, to contribute text that has shaped their childhood, as well as to make collaborative portraits of themselves and their families. Through collage, I will be adding layers of time onto their portraits, compressing history and the present. The final project will be an interactive installation piece that will travel throughout different contexts, creating a collection of shared humanity.
Charmaine Poh (b.1990) is a Chinese-Singaporean artist, photographer, and writer based between Singapore and Berlin.
Her practice combines photography with research, text, video, and installation, focusing on issues of memory, gender, youth, and solitude in the Asian context. Often working with the form of narrative portraiture, she considers the performance of self and the layers of identity we build. She works with communities in a collaborative process that holds space for introspection, intimacy, and sharing. She is interested in the stories that make us who we are.
She has showcased her work through platforms such as M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, the Singapore International Photography Festival, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Filmmaking, The Taipei Arts Festival, The International Center of Photography, Photoville, WeTransfer, Channel News Asia, and The New York Times. Her work has been supported by institutions such as the National Arts Council (Singapore), Exactly Foundation, and the Global Gender Parity Initiative. She graduated from Tufts University with an B.A. in International Relations, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Visual and Media Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin
M.A. Visual and Media Anthropology, Freie Universitat, Berlin (expected)
B.A. International Relations, Tufts University, Boston
PDN 30 Emerging Photographers nominee
Magnum Foundation Fund nominee
World Press Photo 6×6 nominee
Abigail Cohen Fellowship nominee
Women Photograph mentee
Women Photograph Workshop at Photoville
New York Portfolio Review selected participant
VII Masterclass, Berlin
National Arts Council Capability Development grant, Singapore
Angkor Photo Workshop, Cambodia
Noise Singapore Award
TEACHING AND SPEAKING
Lens of the Past, My Community @ Queenstown
Panel speaker, Women in Photography Slideshow Q&A, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Filmmaking
Guest speaker, Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design, and Media, BFA Photography students
Speaker, How She Loves artist talks, Exactly Foundation
Speaker, All in Her Day’s Work artist talks, NAFA and LASALLE students
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