Sim Chi Yin, born in Singapore in 1978, works in Beijing and London. She is a PhD student in war studies at King’s College London and a member of the world’s most prestigious photo agency, Magnum. Landskrona Konsthall presents Sim Chi Yin’s multimedia project One day we’ll understand. This includes the series of stills Remnants and the video and audio work Requiem. The works are Sim Chi Yin’s contribution to the exposure of hidden traces of the Malaya crisis, 1948–1960. The conflict arose between the British colonial power and the resistance led by the Malaysian left. The period has become the subject of political revisionism and is a hushed-up part of Sim Chi Yin’s family history.
Shen Huanscheng, Sim Chi Yin’s grandfather, was a Malaysian communist who fought against the colonial government. He was deported and executed by Chinese nationalists in 1949. The revolutionary legacy represented by her grandfather is perceived quite differently depending on the perspective. In some circles, Shen Huanscheng is a freedom fighter and a monument has been erected in his honour. For others he is a terrorist. In his own family, he became an unmentionable person.
Sim Chi Yin belongs to a generation of photographers who have created a new genre. She combines the documentary photography of photo journalism with the vibrancy of art and simultaneously strives for academic accuracy.
In One day we’ll understand, Sim Chi Yin examines how different narratives compete for truth, how individuals are forced to navigate in a historical process when their lives have inexorably become pawns in a game of global politics, and how a superior power can erode human rights by declaring an emergency. She has sought out those who remember, those who have not forgotten her grandfather, the stories and the songs. With landscape photographs, stills of artefacts and documents, with motion pictures and sound, Sim Chi Yin fills out the gaps between the fragments from the time and makes the history of Malaysia and her family a little more complete.