"Those on the brink of being forgotten will soon transform into hues and light, ultimately evolving into the fertile ground of imagination."
The publication of this photography album was initiated by the publisher Xu Ning and was released by his art platform "YT Pictures" in early 2018. At that time, I had concluded my 8-year life in New York and returned to Beijing. I began organizing some photos taken between 2010 and 2017. The original intentionwas to use this photography collection as a means to explore the subtle relationship between the physiological and psychological motivations behind (at least my personal) photographic behavior, as well as the interplay between imagery and my personal memories. The photos in the collection were taken in Beijing, by the sea in Tangshan, Hebei, in the central oil fields of He Nan, the old town of Yu Men in Gan Su, in the cities of Georgia and Pennsylvania in America as well as in the Czech Republic, Poland, Singapore, Pyongyang in North Korea and Havana. The Part One "Wandering Ahead, Wounded" focuses on photos taken in China.
It was a winter’s day in the late 1980s when I was still in high school. Going home after school in the evening dusk, I had to pass by a railway crossing where a grey train had stopped and a crowd of people had congregated. Curiosity made me push into the crowd, and through the narrow gaps in between the bodies I saw a woman whose legs had just been run over by the train. She was muttering to herself as she crawled painfully on the gravel by the tracks. I got back on my bike and sped away, passing the factory with the smoking chimney and over the stone bridge on the canal. Dusk was turning into night, but the street lamps had not yet been turned on, the enveloping dark and my fear almost made me miss the turning for my own home.
Many years later, that image naturally became blurry. Even later, I got my first camera and started observing the world through that narrow field of regard.
2011. In a family hotel in Havana, students wearing red neckerchiefs filed out of the classroom downstairs and eagerly rushed homewards. In the upstairs room, she stood by the window, still as a statue. In that moment, one of Edward Hopper’s paintings flashed across my mind, I felt I needed to shine some yellow light onto her beautiful legs, so I turned on the desk lamp on the table and started shooting. After so many years spent with a camera, photography once again became the best excuse to interact with the strangers in front of me, making small talk that turned into conversation before eventually saying goodbye. I was given the right to pry into their every move through my lens, and this process was just like a short journey, just like every journey comes with an expectation and an ending.
However, most of the time we are not conscious of where things end up ahead, photography is more like journeys that we make going backwards every time.
二零一一年，哈瓦那城中一间家庭旅社，楼下一群戴红领巾的学生们放学排着队从教室涌入到回家的路口。楼上房间内，她站在窗口一动不动，像是一块石头，那一刻我脑子里闪过印象中某一张爱德华·霍珀 (Edward Hopper)的油画，我觉得我还需要一些黄色的光线打在她漂亮的腿上，于是我打开了桌上的台灯然后按动了相机快门。经过了许多年的拍摄，摄影再次成为一种充足的理由让我可以和眼前的陌生人短暂的相处，寒暄，聊天，道别，可以合理的透过取景器偷窥她的一举一动，这个过程像是一次短程旅行，所有旅程应该都有一个前方预知的终点 。