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New York

Red Horse Cafe

Exhibition Detail
Curated by: Colleen Katana
497 6th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

January 19th, 2010 - March 1st, 2010
February 6th, 2010 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Anonymous #26 & 27, Henry ChungHenry Chung, Anonymous #26 & 27,
2010, Computer Punch Tape, 30" H x 40" W
© 2010 Henry Chung
digital, mixed-media, photography


These portraits are of people that I do not know. They are based on pictures of people from old photographs that I found in flea markets and antiques stores. While collecting these old photos, I found that there was something haunting and inherently sad about the faces that looked back at me. While anonymous to me, these photographs were a lifetime of cherished memories for someone else. I wondered about these people, who they were, what the occasions were where the pictures were taken, and why these photographs which served as the representation of these moments were ultimately discarded.

I began to imagine what the lives of these people were like. I wanted to know that these memories that seemed discarded were in fact not forgotten. I enlisted help from others to help me re-invent these events, and to ensure that a happy ending was enjoyed by everybody in these discarded memories. I asked people to look at these portraits and invent facts about these people. I was to weave these facts into stories for each of these people, creating new identities that would save these memories from obscurity.

At the end, the reality is that these images were discarded. I will never know who they are, and I can never be sure that their lives ended happily.

These portraits are composed strips of computer punch tape, an obsolete technology that was commonly used during the time when these original photographs were taken. The strips are assembled by hand and adhered to the wall.

Ultimately, the series is about information access and my quest for a resolution that I could never find: people whose information I want but don't have access to, rendered in a data format that can no longer be read.

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