Thursday 1 December 2016
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LIFE by Yuliana Candra

LIFE is a photo documentary book that chronicles vignettes of life around the world, captured in 20 countries over a 10-year span.


LIFE is a 10-year journey across 20 countries portrayed through my camera lens. For many years, I traveled alone. At first, my circumstance as a stateless political asylee for almost two decades didn’t give me much flexibility to travel. The paperwork was complicated and advance planning was not an option, let alone trying to coordinate with travel companions. Later on, I became a creature of habit by navigating and discovering things alone. Those years were intimately isolated; my camera became my companion, my comrade-in-arms, and my loyal soulmate. It’s the only presence that witnessed my experiences.

Many years later, I was staring at my laptop and scrolling through thousands of photographs in my archive. I had just gone through a series of painful episodes: the death of my sister, a string of betrayals, and a heartbreak. I desperately needed to manifest the pressure bottling up in my chest. I needed a creative tool to stitch my purpose back together. LIFE was born that day.

This book is simply about life, and it is purely intended to celebrate life. I often saw raw happiness in the poorest conditions, and ironically, grave discontent in ultimate abundance. We focus so habitually on our darkest moments that we hardly remember why the universe puts us on a 360-degree rolling wheel to maintain the equilibrium of life. We are equally weighted puzzle pieces that make up the complete picture of being. I want to remember those well, along with the reason why I am alive and living.

My vision for this book is for it to be seen and experienced by as many people as possible. Only then will my work be complete. It is only fair that a book about life should help to revive lives; therefore, I am donating the proceeds from this book to projects against human trafficking. LIFE is the first book in my trilogy photo documentary series about life, humanity, and civilization. The proceeds from the next two books will also be dedicated to the same cause.

LIFE has been accepted to be a part of the literary collections at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo (Norway) and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk (Denmark). The third book in this series, “Stone, Steel, and Structure”, has also been selected by the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. LIFE is currently in the running for the Anamorphosis Award with New York’s MOMA, and IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Award.


Link to the project:

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