My work plays with the conventions and boundaries of photography, material, and the expansion of photography's language into the white cube. I am inspired by the history of photography, which began with the camera obscure and the way painters used it to transfer landscapes onto paper. I seek to transform photography in today's society by challenging its traditional practices and exploring new possibilities. Photographs are dismantled and reassembled through collages, sculptures, installations, and site-specific projects.
Much of what I do begins as a response to feelings of alienation from volatile environments. I question the meaning and value of personal identity and have developed a habit of intentionally changing my perspective to understand my surroundings. In photography, I found a medium that has allowed me to redefine and recreate what I see and hear in my day-to-day.
I use the vocabulary of photography to communicate and explore the spatial relationships between images and materials, as well as light and shadow. My research explores the evolution of figurative photography into abstract geometric ideas. It is inspired by ancient Chinese figurative patterns that have undergone similar changes over time. One of the ways that I do this is to distill images of modern cities and re-present them as new abstract geometric installations and sculptures. In my recent works, I repeated the image of a particular building in a photograph I took to signify the memory of time. I also translated the building’s form into a complex, multi-layered rectangle in response to socio-political events happening around me then.
The new ways that I engage with traditional photography give my practice a new visual language. I invite viewers to participate in these novel approaches to understanding images—from 2D to 3D. These 3D images, often presented as installations, are my way of transmuting memory fragments into physical forms, a way to document my daily life through materials.
One of the materials that I am especially interested in is plastic. I love its translucency, which is like the glass in a camera lens. It was also contentious material when I was growing up. Its “status” has changed over the years, and it has become a controversial material with divided attitudes toward it. This has led me to consider things from different perspectives. By using plastic in my work, I challenge the boundaries of photography and material and extend the medium's language into new territories.
Ultimately, what I have done through this body of work is to break the spatial constraints of photographic images by making them 3D. Furthermore, I wanted to go beyond the one-way relationship between images and the audience. And release the images into the viewer's space, allowing them to interact with traditionally flat images as dynamic sculptural forms.