My grandmother was a dragon. A token of authority, dignity, honour and success, those born into the year of the dragon are considered highly lucky. At 90 years of age she was mother to eight, grandmother to eighteen, great-grandmother to ten and counting—and a sufferer of late-stage Alzheimer’s Disease.
Forget Me Not (2014-2019) portrays my experience over multiple trips to visit my maternal grandmother, Kong Fung Tsze, in Sandakan, Malaysia—a process of trying to understand more of who I am and who she is, while watching her lose her independence and sense of self.
When my grandmother first started forgetting, my mother crafted her a number of small “life story” notebooks lovingly filled with images and handwritten memories of their lives together. These pages are memorialised and work in dialogue with my own images, providing context to my grandmother’s once full and vibrant life.
Although it’s impossible to fully comprehend what people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease experience, this is my visual interpretation of the disorientating, challenging and repetitive nature of the condition, and the feelings that arise from watching the slow decline of a life of someone you cherish.
In loving memory of my grandmother Kong Fung Tsze (1928-2019).
Anne Moffat is a Melbourne-based photographer working across an array of editorial, commercial and personal projects.
Anne draws on close familial ties to Malaysia, China, and New Zealand, as well as family migration to Australia, to inform her social documentation and portraiture. With both parents migrating to Melbourne in the late 1980s, she is interested in the Australian migrant experience, and what it means to identify as “Asian-Australian”.
Anne’s most recent project, Forget Me Not (2014-2019), portrays her experience over multiple trips to visit her maternal grandmother in Sandakan, Malaysia. This was originally programmed to be exhibited at the Centre of Contemporary Photography in Melbourne in June 2020, but will be rescheduled to early 2021 due to COVID-19. Anne has been shortlisted in the British Journal of Photography’s 2020 Portrait of Humanity and named a finalist in the 2019 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize for work from this project.
Anne complements her practice with a Bachelor of Science and Diploma of Languages from the University of Melbourne. She is a member of Women Photograph, Diversify Photo and Authority Collective.