Waxing Crescent, Waning Gibbous, One Moon

[ Exhibition Proposal ]

Kana, Jose, Bruno, Maria, and Alfonso are students in a photography class. The teacher said to the students: ‘I can’t leave this classroom, please bring me the knowledge of the world with your camera.’

March 19th, 2018, Monday

‘I don’t have much experience and don’t know where to begin. I’m not sure these photos speak of anything. They seem to be meaningless.’

‘The perception of a photo is through vision; the visual is its meaning, appearance constitute everything.’

‘If everything could be the subject of a photograph, in the continuous space-time, how is it possible to frame a fragment and claim that it’s meaningful and carries the consciousness of the photographer?’

‘Everything visible might possess a gesture, a relationship, a peculiarity, a dual identity, a possibility for imagination, solely for photographs.’

            Kana, Appearance Collector

April 2nd, 2018, Monday

‘A few days a year, a little snow falls in some mountainous area, and we drive long hours, with hordes of others, to see it. Although the snowfall is pathetically slight, we cheerfully pull out our latest cameras to take some trophy pictures, and then return home, feeling content.’

‘Who are “we”? ’

‘Lots of people are like this, so the people who fit this description could be “we”. Although I couldn’t always represent “we”, what I’ve felt is absolutely not an isolated feelings.’

‘If it’s impossible to distinguish an individual consciousness from the collective, do “I” exist? ‘

‘Maybe the photo could witness my existence? ‘

‘It could be taken by anyone, after a long time’

April 16th, 2018, Monday

‘There are lots of famous landscapes, scenic spots, beautiful moonrises and sunsets on the trip. However, the photos brought back don’t seem as enchanting.’

‘My teacher once told me that if we don’t know how to take a photograph upon these moments, just enjoy the thrill for what you’re experiencing.’

‘But we’re discussing how to photograph after all? ‘

‘If photography provides not only practical information but also ceremonial function, the marked site is a belief projected consciously or unconsciously. It distinguishes here from there for the sake of photography.’

Maria, Fairy Dust
May 7th, 2018, Monday

‘If nobody was around and heard when the tree fell in the woods, did it make a sound? ‘  

‘Are you asking whether the scene recorded by your camera really happened? ‘

‘I admit that those are intentionally constructed illusions.’

‘Fictions are not just illusions or fake; it is stupid to interpret them literally. It is regarding the realness of the author that the fictional world becomes a fiction, and the world of the author is fictional in regard to the Creator. Or only the existence of the Creator is fictional.’

May 21st, 2018, Monday

‘It is futile. It is DNA, hormone, social structure, technology, politician and gangster that govern us.’

‘But you still feel like saying something?’

‘Even while free will is fictional? What to say then?’

‘Tell a futile story.’
    Alfonso, Exhausted Picture

In the gallery, a telescope is installed around the entrance and pointing to a picture at the other side of the room. There are photographs hanging on the wall from 5 different series of works. Besides each series there are one portrait, name tag, and a short dialogue about photography from the photo class. The size of the portraits are curiously bigger than the photos from the series. When the audience see through the telescope or actually reach the other side of the room, they will find the picture depicting the telescope itself.

This creation is a work presented as (pretend to be) a group exhibition from students of a photography class, including 5 series of works: Appearance Collector, Arid Tranquility, Scenic Spots, Fairy Dust, and Exhausted Images. There are also 5 portraits, texts of the dialogue between the teacher and students, and a telescope installation juxtaposed with the 5 series of images.

The work tends to blur the identity between self and others by its format, and reveals the thoughts about photography through the contents. It started with a one-year preparation project from January 1st, 2017 to December 31,2017. During this time, everyday a photo was taken and posted on Facebook and Tumblr together with a piece of text quoted from any kind of source: books, movies, signs, conversations …, etc. The text and photo are not necessarily related and nothing else was posted unless it’s quoted from somewhere. When someone replied on the post, a response with a quote was attempted; all quotes were without indication of source. In this process, personal identity was intended to be eliminated on FB by using external information while another identity was created inevitably, which embodied the thoughts about how one consciousness / soul / mind is formed.
(Tumblr Link)

Originality, authenticity, inspiration, context, theories, zeitgeist, free will…etc, often involve in all kinds of creative activities. Whether it is during the self-reflection or a discourse, this process always manifests the history of how a consciousness is shaped. However, oftentimes the origin of a thought, a logic, a value, a judgement, which are the products of a mind, couldn’t be identified or pinpointed during the exploration. Besides the mysterious mechanism of the brain, it’s impossible to document the course of life in detail as well. At certain moment, a sound, a line in the film, a dream, a poem enter the mind, and the self changes. Hence consciousness as a whole is a fluid and ever-changing entity; every instant of a mind is a result of the accumulated interaction by other consciousnesses under natural laws and coincidence.   

This work encompasses the idea of the uncertain and fluid identity in the conscious level.It implies that a consciousness is inevitable to flow and interchange with others in a human community. In other words, every consciousness has parts from other minds. The final presentation is a reversal from the 2017 preparation, which suggests parts of the artist’s consciousness would merge into the collective eventually.

Land used to reveal itself as continuous and mysterious scenery; majestic mountain, strange rock, precipitous gorge, wandering river, dusky swamp, immense glacier, and burning lava distinguish one place from other homogenous terrain. Magnificent and astonishing landscape enters people’s view with divinity, and then separates the ordinary scenes that carry mundane life. These spectacles reigned over the souls of men and demanded reverence at the times when human grew distance with nature but yet entered the modern age.

These alternative choices of subject at various scenic points are the embodiment of an artist’s belief of photography. If photography provides not only practical information but also ceremonial function, the marked site is a belief projected consciously or unconsciously. With the knowledge of natural science and advancement of technology, mankind turns to rule the nature instead of being governed, and those, who take cover in civilization, visit the sites are no longer pilgrims. Through meticulous arrangement of photography, the images that were once far to reach and strange as transformed gods are readily available. Nonetheless, whether these flat images are capable to represent the ineffable experience remains questionable. In the modern days, the distinction between here and there depends on if it’s a place worth a photograph.





















































– A Little Background

It never snows in Taipei, a city of gray, once called the ugliest city in the world. Everywhere there are commuters on scooters rushing somewhere in raincoats or waiting at an interminable red light, baking under the punishing sun. Air pollution is the curse of this urbanized basin, and suffering from humidity is the fate of the populace.

After 30 years of fast economic development, Taiwan has gotten rid of poverty and made progress in every aspect of society. But Taiwan is now in an ambiguous state of uncertainty, in which a certain level of comfort and fear co-exist.  Growth has subsided and a sense of stagnation and confinement has become pervasive, geographically, politically, and culturally.  A younger generation is stalled.  Our options feel limited.  When we gather in the karaoke after work at midnight, or devote ourselves to bicycling on a precious sunny day, we do so with a sense of resignation, concealing the collective anxiety, comforting an empty soul.

The generation of our parents successfully brought Taiwan to a new level, but our generation has nowhere to go. Taking the same steps, putting faith in the same routines, hasn’t resulted in the same gains. Economic growth has stopped, but the working day is extremely long. We have dedicated our youth to textbooks, but a redeeming future hasn’t arrived. Yet we shall not complain, because we know, and are constantly reminded, that we have everything our parents never had. So we have some fun, live peacefully, burn up all our youthful energy and get numb, and pray a nightmare of reversal never comes.

A few days a year, a little snow falls in some mountainous area, and we drive long hours, with hordes of others, to see it. Although the snowfall is pathetically slight, we cheerfully pull out our latest cameras to take some trophy pictures, and then return home, feeling content, for a moment.

Before Spring, 2012