Alumnus Doug Eng's New Exhibit – On Fertile Ground

On Fertile Ground Postcard-1

Exhibit through December 4, 2014

“On Fertile Ground: The Wing Lee Yuen Truck Farm”

Lufrano Intercultural Gallery for Peace

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL

The Importance of Personal Projects – By Doug Eng

“We de-prioritize personal projects due to lack of time, commitment, or guilt about working on something that doesn’t generate income or Facebook “likes.” It’s easy to make a great snapshot or prioritize paying work, and hard to find personal projects with depth and meaning. In 2007 my family’s farm of 70 years was being sold and I struggled to find the motivation to photograph the vacated buildings and family houses. Fortunately curiosity overruled and I reconnected with a lifetime of memories of monthly trips to the farm. As I walked through the property with my camera, vague memories were brought into clear focus through the act of photography. Each space, object, and smell, triggered a recollection of my past and realignment with my own origins. The images sat on my computer for several years. In 2010 I received a grant to create an exhibit for the public. I used a framework provided by JP to bring the body of work to a completed state for exhibition with great success. In late 2013, the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery for Peace at the University of North Florida provided another opportunity to exhibit the project. I decided to re-visit all of the images, both content and process. I was surprised to find the difference 4 years made in my own interpretation of the images. Photography is a wonderful medium that allows us to continuously evolve our message. Only after I began to write about the project several years after the images were made and the land sold and cleared, did I realize the importance of creating the only visual record of this American story. I am reminded of a quote by Emmet Gowin: “There are things in your life that only you will see, stories that only you will hear. If you don’t tell them or write them down, if you don’t make the picture, these things will not be seen, these things will not be heard.” It may not be obvious to you why your personal project is important, but it is. Work on it now, before your “farm” is gone. “

Lean more about the On Fertile Ground project here.

Lean more about Doug Eng’s photography and projects here.

View more Alumni Success Stories here.