Hospitals, better known as medical centres have come a long way to become a very ‘hotel looking’ institution. All these are to ensure that medical centres provide a comfortable and accommodative place. Gone were the days where medical centres were illuminated with fluorescent lightings, unclean toilets and white walls that were full with informative posters from the Ministry of Health.
Today, medical centres are decorated with flowers, carpets covering the cemented floor, suites filled with televisions that provide ‘satellite’ channels, interiors illuminated by warm tungsten lighting and so forth. These are to ensure that the patients will not feel themselves being in a hospital. This, in a way, will help them to relax and not to worsen their condition.
But, most of the patients still feel terrified with the medical equipments that they come across to. Why things like this happen? Is it because the equipments were something that they do not recognised? Or perhaps it is something that they remember seeing, and having an unpleasant memory of the equipment? Or, the equipments somehow trigger their inner psychological terror?
Shouldn’t the modern technologies, medicines and machines help us to ‘defeat’ death? Or are they the harbinger of death itself.
Institutionalised Care is a study of the ‘sign of death’ in the medical centre. It could arise from the viewers’ past experience, sickness (as in claustrophobia, etc) or knowledge from the mass media, movies, etc. Every individual image suggest ‘death’ though they are images of equipments that are supposedly to be safe, as in saving people’s life.
This series of works educate us that however limitless our wealth or power may seem, the reality of our eventual demise cannot be avoided.
Photographs & Text by Eiffel Chong | Website: http://www.eiffelchong.com
The photo book Institutionalised Care, by Eiffel Chong will be launched at 1pm Saturday, 19th October at IPA Photo Books Show 2013.