Over the summer of 2002, my mother and I visited a little abandoned island off the coast of Malaysia called Pulau Bidong, the site of a Vietnamese refugee camp where we lived. We explored the island by taking photographs and gathering ephemeral documents scattered throughout the deserted buildings. These documents included letters, testimonies, and government records. Some had worms eating them—leaving spiral holes—while others were partially buried in the dirt with plants growing through them. Since these documents had not been disturbed for a least a decade or more, they have been physically transformed through decay and exposure to the elements.
May 23, 2004