Dream within a Dream | Zhou Yang 《寻梦》| 周仰

Zhou Yang, Dream within a Dream, 2014
Zhou Yang, Dream within a Dream, 2014

Text by Zhou Yang

Is all that we see or seem,
But a dream within a dream?
Edgar Allan Poe

My friend Camille SHANGGUAN has been learning Kunqu Opera from a master for eight years. Being an intellect instead of a professional actress, she sees this ancient performance art not as a form to entertain others, but as a way to create a lucid dream within the hustle and bustle of modern life.

The first time I listened to Camille singing Kunqu Opera was in a small gathering of friends. There were no dramatic lights or stage settings, nor dashing costumes. Only herself, sitting in the centre of the group. She took a breath, and the enchanting voice that followed had us all spellbound. She chanted a verse from , the most-known Kunqu Opera masterpiece created in Ming Dynasty, which starts with a fair maiden’s dream to find love.

We all hold dreams in our hearts, trivial or noble. We share the experience of pursuing dreams, even though we have to make compromises when faced with the reality. The chanting of Kunqu Opera offers a rare remedy, for both the singer and the listeners, a breathing space parallel with the present. To me, Camille’s chanting is a unique channel leading me away from here and now. I believe that, in a moment of synesthesia, I see the world around me a bit differently, which is what I try to capture on the films. Whenever she starts her chanting, it seems, we are magically transported to another space and another time. It could be the remote past, or it could be our imagery backyard. Or, are we not in a dream within a dream?

 Zhou Yang, Dream within a Dream, 2014
Zhou Yang, Dream within a Dream, 2014
Zhou Yang, Dream within a Dream, 2014
Zhou Yang, Dream within a Dream, 2014
Zhou Yang, Dream within a Dream, 2014
Zhou Yang, Dream within a Dream, 2014

Zhou Yang (born. 1985) is a photographer, writer and translator. Graduated from MA in Photojournalism, University of Westminster, Zhou Yang had intensive working experiences in the media industry. She was photo editor of EllEMEN magazine and editor in International Channel Shanghai. She is currently working closely with City Pictorial, Travel + Leisure, Time-Weekly, Travel & Photographer and many other magazines in China. Zhou Yang is also translator of Annie Leibovitz at Work by Annie Leibovitz.

Website: www.zyfotos.viewbook.com

《寻梦》
文/周仰

『最撩人春色是今年/說什麼低就高來粉畫垣/原來春心無處不飛懸/是睡荼蘼抓住了裙釵 線/恰便是花似人心向好處牽』(《牡丹亭 尋夢》懶畫眉)

影像是现实还是梦境?照片是不是可以还原对声音的记忆与印象?《寻梦》系列是一次特别的探索,我的朋友上官秋清是一位当代的昆曲曲人,在我的理解中,这是不同与专业演员和业余票友的“第三种可能”,她与昆曲的关系,很难用语言去描述。跟着她,我去看过一些舞台上表演的昆曲,扮相身段确实美,不可触及的美。然而在各种朋友聚会的场合听她清唱,大家却赫然安静下来,屏息凝神。后来无数次,不管什么场合,聚会饭局,多嘈杂的环境,只要上官一启喉,就把我们带入另一层时空。欣赏昆曲这样古老美好的艺术似乎并不需要太深入的了解,随着委婉的唱腔和美丽的唱词,听者被引领进入梦境。

进入了21世纪,在园子里唱曲听曲的机会已十分难得。但只要笛子吹响,檀板轻敲,曲人启 迪喉开声之际,无论身处何地,多嘈杂的环境,昆曲都能奇妙地將人们带入到园林景致里头, 让人体会到那一份渐已遗失的风雅。欣赏昆曲这样古老美好的艺术实际上并不需要太深入的了解,随着委婉的唱腔和精美的唱詞,听者自然被引领进入,梦境。

上官曾谦虚地认为:她的嗓音,甚至她本人,之於昆曲,只是一个载体。她只是尽量成为一个更好的载体,來传达、活現昆曲。然而,经由了她的昆曲,肯定也不可避免地打上了她自身的烙印,传统与现代,一直都在叠加着。影像之於昆曲,也可以是一个载体,透过镜头,梦境却渐渐清晰。

周仰

1985生于上海, 英国威斯敏斯特⼤大学报道摄影硕⼠。媒体⼈, 曾任《ELLEMEN睿⼠士》杂志图⽚编辑,与许多摄影师、插画师有合作。目前是独立摄影师、翻译, 与《城市画报》、《招⾏行财智⽣生活》、《旅⾏摄影》、《碳商》等多家媒体有合作; 译作《安妮在⼯工作》由北京美术摄影出版社出版, 获得摄影⼈和普通读者的认可。在上海持续拍摄个⼈人项⽬目,作品关注年龄、记忆与生命。

个人网站:www.zyfotos.viewbook.com

Innocent Youth | Wu Shankun

Innocent Youth by Wu Shankun
Innocent Youth by Wu Shankun

Text by Wu Shankun

What I mostly notice and think are the things on the back of how people are living in this digital era when we make and receive loads of information by computer and phone every day every moment. We live in a world where you get used to take electric waves as the real sounds of the world like your mom’s voice in phone, take an organization of pixels on the screen as a real person when you chat with someone on Skype, we all have many virtual IDs etc. We create albums- upload our pictures anytime we like randomly, and share and comment on social networks, this is the big carnival we all share every minute. This is a time of freedom and also a time of loss and confuse. I capture the moment around me and create my photos in this way, as how the world is going on at this moment-chaos by chaos on a seemingly active order.

Innocent Youth by Wu Shankun
Innocent Youth by Wu Shankun

Born 1989, based in Beijing, graduated with BA Media and Communication from Beijing Normal University, 2012; MA Photography from London College of Communication, 2014. Wu’s photography focuses on virtuality and the relationship between people and life. He has won several national prizes in computer programming and graphic design in China, he was the winner of Photoworks Prize in 2013 (UK), cooperates with Yellowkorner Gallery (Paris) for years. His works have been exhibited in China, UK, France and USA, and he has published more than 350 essays on photography in Photoworld.

Innocent Youth by Wu Shankun
Innocent Youth by Wu Shankun
Innocent Youth by Wu Shankun
Innocent Youth by Wu Shankun

Domestic Nightscape| Chaoyu Li

Text by Chaoyu Li

Domestic Nightscapes by Chaoyu Li
Domestic Nightscapes by Chaoyu Li

After staying for almost four years in Walla Walla, a rather typical American town, I thought I couldn’t be more familiar with the streets and landscape here: clean and organized, but also repetitive and unexciting. Domestic Nightscape is an attempt of me to view this place again with my camera. Earlier, photography could be my reason or motivation of viewing, or the method by which I share my vision. However, in this project, photography has become my only way of seeing—my eyes are not capable of long-exposure on a single frame to achieve more information, but camera can capture and magnify the contrast among different light sources’ luminosity and the interweaving of colors.

In daylight those quiet blocks and middle-class tract houses could be dreary and mind numbing, but they are now surrealistically rendered. Their original materiality starts to become abstract till the moment when it’s perfectly balanced—as architectures, when their exterior structures and lines are more explicit, especially when some elements are highlighted and penetrated by indoor artificial lights, they are also closer to pure geometric shapes.At meantime, I hope viewers will skip the photographer and read images directly, and only in this way could viewers understand the elements in the image based on their own personal experience (for example, would the indoor light cause the sense of security or alienation? ). Therefore, although I can never peel my subjective vision off when I look through the viewfinder, I still attempt to hide these purposed visual choices by presenting a relatively calm composition and allowing a space to breath between the viewers and the images (although this behavior might actually be the nature of subjectivity).

I hope these images with realistic details and surrealistic renderings will not only be visually attractive to audiences who have never personally experienced it, but also push them further and let them approach curiously to the meaning and emotions of lights, as the strongest visual charge of these houses, the evidence of the existence of human in the images, and the essence of photography.

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Domestic Nightscapes by Chaoyu Li
Domestic Nightscapes by Chaoyu Li

Domestic Nightscapes by Chaoyu Li
Domestic Nightscapes by Chaoyu Li

For more information, check http://chaoyu.me/

Kayan Kwok | Surreal Banana Collage Posters

Day 101 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok
Day 101 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok

Kayan Kwok is an artist, illustration and a graphic designer based in Hong Kong.

The founder of ” a k e k e ” and co-founder of ” A.D.1.2 Artist Cooperate Organization“.She has been doing a project called “ A poster per day for 365 days ” by making a poster per day till it hit 365 days.

Vintage, retro, pin up, collage are the keywords for her works, she also is fascinated by the advertisment duing the 1920 – 1960 in American. Therefore her work reflected certain element from back then but then she also added some graphic design element, which make it different from traditional collage.

Collage has a surrealism background, but other then that, it also act like Alchemy, because you are putting stuff together from different places and times, the result is clearly unpredictable and this is what makes collage so fascinated.

Day 102 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok
Day 102 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok
Day 103 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok
Day 103 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok
Day 107 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok
Day 107 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok
Day 116 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok
Day 116 | All images courtesy of Kayan Kwok

Check more of Kayan Kwok’s work: http://www.designboom.com/design/kayan-kwok-banana-posters-per-day-for-365-days-graphic-design-hong-kong-09-07-2014/ 

 

Xu Hao | Shanshui

Hoa Xu Nr. 13 Silver gelatin print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper 20.5 × 25.5cm unframed 2014
Hao Xu
Nr. 13
Silver gelatin print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper 20.5 × 25.5cm unframed
2014

Shanshui, the name given to this body of work, draws from the aesthetic characteristics of Chinese landscape painting and uses traditional, analogue photographic materials and techniques. Shanshui in Chinese means ‘mountain’ and ‘water’ as landscape. The project explores the boundaries between photography and painting, referencing the fundamental principles of each field and and its specificity. It challenges the visual language of photography and painting, re-thinking the space between them.

Hao Xu’s initial inspiration came from the exhibition Masterpieces of Chinese painting: 700-1900 exhibited at the Victoria and Albert museum in London. Hao studied the different elements and components of the Chinese art displayed at this exhibit, which included screen painting and scroll painting. He began to comprehend the difference between monocular perspective (which the optics of the camera inherited) and the multi-vanishing point, roll and frame, meticulous painting and colour block used in Chinese painting. Hao began to consider the possibility of a synthesis between Eastern and Western aesthetics, creating a different way of using colour in photography.

At first Xu’s artwork was influenced by ‘grand impressionistic painting’. Chinese call it ‘Xie yi painting’. ‘Xie’ in mandarin is considered as writing. Why write a painting? One of the reasons is that grand impressionistic painting was influenced by the mandarin character and the creation of Chinese letters was derived from nature. Chinese characters are descriptive yet also a form of abstract painting. ‘Writing’ becomes
a process of narrating with unique embellishments and creative composition,
rather than describing a fact. ‘Yi’ in mandarin is considered full of meaning. Grand impressionistic painting represents the sentiment of the spiritual instead of describing physical reality. It imposed restrictions on space, light, perspective, and colour.

Inspired by Chinese painting, Hao Xu uses a process driven combining painting, drawing and camera less photography. By dipping, spraying, rotating and brushing the liquid developer, cyanotype chemical and argyrotype chemical, to respectively mix ink washes in blue and green, Hao creates a new form of Shanshui. The blue and green elements arise from the combination of developer and cyanotype chemicals. The glossy appearance of the prints comes from the combination of argyrotype chemical and developer. The various depth of tone and colour comes from altering the exposure, developing time, solarisation and UV light in the darkroom.

Hao Xu (b.1987, Xuchang, China and based in London) is a graduate of the MFA Photography course at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. Hao has exhibited and published work internationally. In the last year, he has participated in group exhibitions at the James Hockey & Foyer Galleries, Crypt Gallery, The Art Fund Prize Gallery and Central Saint Martins in the United Kingdom as well as Photo Shanghai art fair. The artist has participated in artist residencies both in Russia and India. Reviews, interviews and portfolio features have appeared in Fotografia Magazine, Art Photo Magazine and World Photography Organisation online.

 

Hao Xu Nr. 35 Silver gelatin print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper 53 × 65cm unframed 2014
Hao Xu
Nr. 35
Silver gelatin print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper 53 × 65cm unframed
2014
Hao Xu Nr. 37 Cyanotype on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper 53 × 65cm unframed 2014
Hao Xu
Nr. 37
Cyanotype on Hahnemühle Fine Art Paper 53 × 65cm unframed
2014

To see more of Xu Hao’s work: http://haoxu.co.uk/

 

Courtesy of the Chandelier Project, London

Chandelier Projects was founded in September 2013. We show contemporary art in a range of media by artists who are interested in creating a new or carefully curated exhibition with us as an extension of their studio practice. To accompany each project, we publish an essay or piece of writing which further expands upon or contextualises the artist’s work.

http://chandelierprojects.com/