AboutLook At Me Now And Here I Am is a body of new photographic and video based work by Northern Irish artist Tim Doak. Delving into the underground world of human trafficking and child prostitution Doak presents fragmentary portraits of six young Cambodian women, all of whom have escaped their former incarceration in illegal brothels.
Doak cites the formation of relationships with his âsubjects' as foremost in his methodology; this allows stories to emerge naturally. In this work the sensitivities, language and working time constraints encouraged close collaboration (photographic workshops and interviews) in the making of truly representative portraits. The women are anonymous for various reasons, their faces obscured or their bodies turned completely but their surroundings, voices, gestures and physicality create a narrative of their current situations in view of their pasts.
The exhibition at once touches on a widespread problem in contemporary Cambodia (as well as the worldwide crisis in human trafficking), and one that is exacerbated partly by corruption, wealth disparity and by economic dependency produced by âsex tourism'. Although these problems are systematic Doak aims to tell personal stories at the most indivisible level. By making the process collaborative and appearing as an outsider himself Doak's work problematizes the role of the photographer and highlights issues around the male, âWestern', tourist gaze. This exhibition is the first instalment of what Doak intends to be an ongoing project in Cambodia.
This exhibition has been made possible through Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Craigavon Borough Council, Portadown 2000 and Ratanak International.