Geoff Levitus: Statement
Working often in Asia and Europe over the last 11 years, I scratched the surfaces to discover the cultural effects of interconnecting histories. I discovered contemporary life on the streets juxtaposed with the traditional life of temples and pagodas, the beauty of visual representations of these daily contradictions, but also the horror of wars and uprisings largely unknown to the West.
Spending large amounts of time living in Vietnam, as well as South Korea, Japan, India, Laos, Cambodia and China, surfaces peeled slightly away, each layer revealing bits of astonishing beauty and horrific ugliness. The West is now struggling with the tide of refugees that are partly a result of its own economic and political colonialism.
Asia’s rocky path from colonial histories to 21st century economic prosperity exposes the huge cultural divides and unfamiliarity with democratic ideas that are common in many of these countries. It becomes obvious that we are good at forgetting and burying history, especially that the history of refugees is a universal one repeated through the ages which implicates us all. My work is an effort to confront this reality.