5 September - 16 September
Mark Chew & Archie Chew
5 – 16 September 2017
Tuesday – Friday 11am to 5pm,
Saturday 12pm to 4pm
…an attempt to understand how despite the most desperate circumstances, community is fundamental, music permeates all aspects of life and above all, education is cherished.
Over three million people live in the slums of Mukuru and Kibera on the outskirts of Nairobi. In terms of land area to population, they are perhaps the most crowded places on earth. Extreme poverty, malnutrition, HIV, cholera and sexual abuse are prevalent. But dignity and perseverance abound.
Nili Kotoka, (Swahili meaning “where I come from”) is a two-part exhibition featuring the work of photographer Mark Chew and videographer Archie Chew. The exhibition is a series of large photographic prints by Mark and a separate video art instillation by Archie. The pair captured the content for this exhibition during their visit to the Nairobi in June 2017. They spent most of their time documenting the education systems and social structures that surround Nairobi’s informal settlements.
Nili Kotoka is an attempt to understand how despite the most desperate circumstances, community is fundamental, music permeates all aspects of life and above all, education is cherished.
Originally from England, Mark Chew moved to Australia in 1985 having undertaken an apprenticeship in London with some of the leading advertising photographers of the time. Since then his work has taken him all over the world with assignments in places such as India, Vietnam, Laos, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, USA, Indonesia, Vanuatu and New Zealand.
Although Mark is a commercial photographer who has relied on his craft to make a living for the past 30 years, he is now spending more and more time, trying to rediscover the spark of anticipation and excitement on first seeing a silver gelatine image emerge in a bath of developer under a faint red light in the 1970’s. He believes good documentary photography treads a fine line between being an unemotional record of what happened and a subjective and inherently biased account of the subject in front of the lens. Somewhere in the middle of these extremes meaningful work appears.
One Point One was exhibited at Blueboat in Melbourne in 2010 following an extensive trip to Southern India.
Unlucky for Some was first shown at Blueboat in 2012 with the images made over the previous two years.
Mr. Modi’s Inheritance was exhibited at fortyfivedownstairs in September 2015.
Archie Chew is currently studying philosophy at the Australian National University while also working as a videographer, editor and director. He has worked on films in the Tiwi Islands, Central Australia and India. As well as this exhibition piece, he has also produced a short documentary during his time in Nairobi on sustainable urban farming.