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Rooting (2021)

Material: Portraits, Interviews, Printed image on fabrics

For my graduation work, I started taking portrait photos of my house plants. Carefully placed on a pedestal against a backdrop, I took their photos one by one. At that time, I realized that my housed plants were from different origins: East Asia and South America. They had one thing in common: all of them moved to a new country, trying to settle down in small pots and adapt to their new environments. Ever since, botanical gardens have represented expat groups for me. Even though botanical gardens provide good living conditions for plants, it is most likely that many of them had to learn how to adapt to their new environments. Now they are rooting on the ground of this country, grabbing its soil and growing new leaves.

I wanted to explore this relationship between ‘plant immigrants’ and people further, by listening to the experiences of other immigrants who are trying to root in the Netherlands and figure out what ‘home’ means to them. I hope these stories can provide a face of recognition or support for other immigrants, or offer new perspectives for those who have firmly rooted in the Netherlands already.

Exhibition at ISO Amsterdam(2021)