Black Landscape


This work serves as a continuation of Day by Day (2014) and is based on the research on the Vietnamese migrant community in Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. As they went through many historical upheavals, such as war, genocide, and the complicated relationships between the two neighboring countries, they became stateless immigrants. The community suffers from poverty and a lack of necessary identification documents, education, and protection from the law.
In 2016, I returned to Tonle Sap and came across many abandoned floating houses that were gradually sinking into the water. Lots of families have left the lake for Vietnam in recent years. The water has become increasingly polluted and dried out; the fish are gone. These people have left the body of water where many generations of the family have been nurtured and serve as a keeper of their memories, beliefs, and a nomadic floating culture spanning many generations. “Black Landscapes” marks the location where these households used to stay. The landscapes are void of humans, just like how the stories, memories, and beliefs are slowly fading in the mighty Mekong.