About the Artist
Nation Cheong: Born in Guyana, the artist formerly known as Troy Cheong re-invents himself in Canada with the soubriquet "Nation", and goes out looking through the third eye of his lens.
Community worker by profession, musician by vocation and artist by compulsion, Nation is interested in everybody and everything - curious to know, seeking to "overstand", eager to share.
At Winston Churchill Collegiate in Scarborough, Ontario, Nation learned to load and process black and white film and to make prints of his photos after being introduced to the mysteries of the dark room by John Arnold who also loaned him his first 35mm Olympus camera. He developed friendships with other budding photographers and began practicing black and white portraits of his friends and family.
Since then he has valued the camera as a tool to record the stories etched in people's faces, to document the moments that tell community stories, to freeze-frame the moments of abandon that free the body to stretch and fly. He looks for irony, contrast and contradiction that challenge our perceptions of what is true.
Photography is the medium for external manifestation, painting is the means of internal dialog and dancing with mood and feeling. The heartbeat of the drum metronomes the trigger finger to press the shutter at the correct hairs breath moment. That definitive moment that tells the story.
Thousands of words, distilled into images, enrich the archives, telling tales of community and culture, spirit and transcendence.