Text by S.
As the youngest photographer, Weixi Lin was invited to attend “Beyond One Step” Biennale (2013) in Derby Museum, UK, and Lishui International Photography Festival (2013). The photography series exhibited was this project Moments in Time taken by phones.
Why does it have to be phone photography? Her answer is headstrong, but honest, “Cameras could not reach the speed of catching anything inspired in very short moments, but smartphones do. Also, the phone I am holding all the time, recording any moment impressing me, deciding the colors and frame sizes emotionally, helps me to remember how I was in that moment – this is why my project’s name is Moments in Time. Specially, when recording has become an irreplaceable part of my life, tools don’t matter anymore.”
It minds me how Walter Benjamin disputed the futile thoughts about the question of whether photography is an art in nineteenth-century – The primary question — whether the very invention of photography had not transformed the entire nature of art — was not raised. I bet he could never imagine the fashion of phone photography has brought a historic impact on camera photography. Do not agree? See how many complaints are there in social networks since Instagram has been censored.
If compare human eyes to a camera, this could be the one with 576 million pixels， an absolute extreme value. This is the reason why our visual experience is always ahead of other senses. How to capture this experience in the most immediate way? Nothing could compare the smartphone you are holding in hands all the time, just as Weixi Lin mentioned in her interview.
What She Was Looking For – this has been the main question along with me when I look at this group of photographs. Perhaps she did not sense it and never tried to put this “Looking For” in her shooting schedule. It seems that kinds of strong subconscious invests with power and innocence in Lin’s photography — the unbalanced junction, boundless ocean, strangers’ backs, shape of filament, snow traces, withered branches, reflective shoes standing on the bloody floor, bottomless swirl, etc. She has broken the boundaries between one project corresponds to one content or narrative, which is like puzzle pieces, as long as you put them together, the whole story of life makes sense.
“Moments in Time” was mainly taken in a very critical year of Lin’s. In that year, Lin lost one of most important person in life. With the huge sense of sadness and emptiness, she started over in a completely new country immediately. Precisely because of the fear of attacking by blank, she has to shoot and record constantly, trying the best to refill the black hole in heart, and to tidy up the fleeting moments in life. The most attractive part of this phone photography project is that Lin hangs herself in whether high saturation color photographs or high contract black and white pictures to express the struggles and fights she has been going through with strong emotions.
Maybe the one she has been looking for — is just self.
WEIXI LIN is a photographer who was born in 1990, based in Hangzhou, China. Graduated in Nottingham Trent University, MA Photography, 2012, Weixi Lin has been exploring photography and installation art with practice and critical thinking. She worked as an editor and book designer in Zhejiang Photographic Press.