“And everything starts at the airport. […] Structures that put us closer to the rest of the world and that separate us from the people who have seen us grow.”
Eastern Thoughts is a poetic, philosophical, and tender reflection on the phenomenon of travelling. Writer Marta Maia and photographer Vitor Queiroz traverse 1708 km through Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand to bring us an inward contemplation on the feelings attached to journeying, the complexity (and complicity) of tourism, the meaning of home and belonging, our attachment to memory, and more. This book will be of interest to and a consolation for all those travelers at heart who constantly seek out for an embracing place, and are always a little bit homesick.
Travel is “a voyage of discovery”, partly external but mostly internal. We travel to loose ourselves, in order to find ourselves.
Travel is as circular and as paradoxical as the Earth itself.
We travel to break a routine but, paradoxically, we also travel in search for stability, stillness and calm. Travellers are often those who crave home the most. But they are also those who instinctively know, or fear, that home is not bound to a place. So they travel, they move, giving physical expression to the constant movement of their minds.
Travel is a break of routine but today, travel is also a sort of routine. Travel is tourism and tourism is a commercial good. To travel is to consume. We travel guided by expectations, based on the stories and images fed to us by the advertising agencies. We navigate ourselves by maps. We follow the prescribed routs. Our movements are neatly choreographed.
Knowing what we are looking for stops us from discovering what else might be there.
Sometimes, some people break the patterns. They leave their maps behind, they adventure. Fresh eyes engage beyond and above the TV-induced expectations. Fresh minds open themselves to the world. Free, they journey. They discover.
But paradoxically, as we discover, we feel a compulsion to preserve what we have found. So we take photographs, we write stories, we immortalise the moments.
Because, we humans, feed of our memories. And memories are fragile. Images and stories are our stamps.
[IF, Artemis Projects, May 2017]
Eastern Thoughts was produced for the 2017 Head on Photo Festival and was presented as an exhibition in May that year. Hear the art talk with writer Marta Maia, photographer Vitor Queiroz and curator / book editor Ira Ferris:
You can also listen to curator Ira Ferris, from Artemis Projects, speak about the exhibition with Trevor Brown on Eastside Radio 89.7FM:
“When putting on the exhibition, we’ve reflected on how can we represent the other culture and our experience of another culture through photographs. (Rightly or wrongly) we’ve felt that no image can ever do that because it is limited and it takes you away from all other sensorial experiences that you have. So we brought in the text that introduced the internal and philosophical thinking associated with travelling. And the sound element came in as a way to bring in the atmosphere of the place. In some way the exhibition contemplated the capacity and the incapacity of photography. Its power and its limitation. It celebrated and denied the power of the medium.
We also wanted to move the photographs away from the wall so they occupy the space of the gallery so that you as a viewer have to move and travel through the exhibition. The installation functioned as a maze. And because the exhibition was about the journey and the traveling, and the layered experiences of other cultures, it made conceptual sense to do it that way.”
Eastern Thoughts is now available for purchase online and in selected stores. Contact Ira Ferris at email@example.com
Travel / Social photography
234.9 mm high x 190.5 mm wide
37 colour photographs
32 b&w photographs
Sale price $30.00 AUD
T +61 404 827 956