comes and goes / 
michelle cheng


‘Comes and Goes’ is a reality project taking the form of a book. It is primarily concerned with the concept of tracing. Exploring the relationship between the follower and the followed, to dive into the situation of secretly spying on one’s actions. By doing so, the audience will try to conclude what the subject is feeling at that moment and what is going on in her mind. This project is to prove “Knowing one’s whereabouts, does not include one’s thoughts and feelings.” Also to spark the audience’s curiosity to look into other people’s lives, because by looking at the images, the audience instantly becomes the follower. As Jean Baudrillard says “A strange arrogance compels us not only to possess the other, but also to penetrate his secret.” As much as no one wants to admit it, there’s a strange kind of attraction in everyone’s mind, drawing us to look at or have knowledge of other people’s secrets. This is what this project does. It brings out this secret, almost the dark side of the audience, to satisfy that curiosity and inspire people to think about the real message of ‘Comes and Goes’.

“Your body and actions are seen in hundreds of people’s eyes every day, but even with this, the mind is still a very private place, where it can never be invaded, ever.” 

The story is set in Hong Kong, the author, Michelle Cheng’s home town. One reason is to fit with the story of departure of home. So this project consists of photographs that records the departure process of the hand and the subject. The other reason is to show off Hong Kong; its people and its culture. This shows the audience what the author has been away from. All of the images have a time detailed under them in the book. This is to remind audiences of how time passes, that nothing is constant. The last part of the book are postcards with photographs of the hand. Postcards are about recording what someone has seen in that moment. It is immediate and brief, just how Cheng intended this project to be. It is a journey of the hand. It is not only about being somewhere and doing something, but the process of it.

What ‘Comes and Goes’ produces is a small collection of photographs and a narrative that resembles a simple version of an itinerary.




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