Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee (SG/GB, b. 1994) is an interdisciplinary practitioner and lecturer. Her artistic practice comprise photography, moving image and text, and is guided by the iterations of slow violence and the dynamic between the ‘near’ and the ‘elsewhere’. In attempting to disarm instruments of knowledge production, her practice attempts to shy away from reduction and completion. Her cultural research extends to East and Southeast Asia, where she runs XING, a research and curatorial platform centered on the politics and poetics of artistic practices in the region.
We’ve got the sun under our skin is a series of photographs and texts illustrating the effects that colonial literature has on modern identity and the construction of the Other. Drawing from 19th–21st century travelogues, ethnographic accounts and novels written about colonial Malaya, passages function as visual scores which dictate the creation of the images – all of which were shot in Britain.
Created in response to the homogenous representation of a yesteryear Malaya, the reconstructed scenes attempt to demystify romanticised visions and subvert the orientalist gaze echoed throughout the writings. Shedding light on the power of colonial literature – otherwise seen as vessels of the imperial bind, We’ve got the sun under our skin attempts to disrupt the slow violence that has been transmitted and accumulated through knowledge production in the west.