Looking On is a photo/video work interrogating othering and the gaze that accompanies it. The subjects photographed are presented in a traditional photo studio setting with bright face paints and soft expressions. In this work, the subjects participate in the way they're witnessed, with an invitation to look at the intricate nature of their face paint and their clothes, and less at them. The scale of the work encourages us to become aware of the ways we contort ourselves to look and what happens when the gaze is returned.
Atong Atem is a South Sudanese artist and writer currently living in Narrm Melbourne. Her work explores migrant narratives, postcolonial practices in the African diaspora and the exploration of identity through portraiture. Atong explores concepts of home and identity in her literary work which spans across photography, painting and video.