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metal sketch
5. Earth sketch.jpg

Artist Statement



"Phases" is a group of works based on the Wu Xing theory re-created in the form of images.


In the Wu Xing theory, people believe that the world comprises by five elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth/Soil. In ancient Chinese philosophy, they are the five essential elements of material composition and illustrate the abstract generalization of everything in the universe. Through historical development, the Wu Xing theory concept is not limited to the elements themselves, but rather to the abstract expressions that share various things and phenomena in their characteristics, such as planets, colors, seasons, and the composition of human bodies.


The concept of this group of works comes from the abstract representation of the five elements in the Wu Xing theory, using five sets of past photography fragments that representing the five elements to reconstitute my memories. What’s more, this group of works comes from my intuitive feelings about society and the environment I live in before 2018. I have never been able to integrate into Chinese schools' education system and have a sense of disharmony with others in my life. When I was six years old, I was sent to school for boarding by my family until I was 13 years old. Living alone for seven years has caused me to have a certain sense of isolation from the social environment and be unable to integrate into the crowd, and I fall into a strange circle that continually questions the meaning and value of my existence. After I started photography, I used to empty my thoughts when shooting to ensure that I objectively recorded the environment in which I lived. Those photos become a bridge between me and the society or people. I explained things I saw to people through pictures and learned about them through images. After accumulating a certain number of photos, I found that these "unconscious" photographs are related to the Wu Xing theory structure and can be represented by the five elements themselves or the abstract expressions of the five elements.


In "Phases," I chose and reorganized my photos taken from 2011 to 2018. These selected photo segments are related to the abstract representation of the five elements and represent life and memory. I hope that the photo fragment can be reorganized through the reorganization of the installation and collage, so I can find out the re-organize my self-consciousness in the past or it represents my current self-awareness. In "Phases," photos are like skin, Wu Xing theory is like bone, the composition of self-awareness and what constitutes self is like the body.

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