Several Echoes of March 8, 2018
At first, many people have been asking, digging and making truths, eagerly and uproariously. In years past, the vast quantities of information that had been generated for touching the Truth have lashed people's intelligence and patience over and over again. All kinds of information have been piled up. “Wrinkles of facts” have been shaped just as the orogeny when people controlled and diffused information. All of these are stripping and expending the initial desire. The long-time suspense has nourished a certain kind of comforting fraud, depending on it, people who are not involved in this mystery "legally" distract their attention or return to the daily security situation, meanwhile the obsession of those closest relatives of the passengers is has been diluting fast or slowly. It seems that “moving on” “should be” the correct choice which shares the same pattern that operated in any past disaster or mystery.
We have time or places to honor other events which are defined as disasters, but as to March 3, 2014, so far no one can (want to) build a monument to it. Still expect, or believe it is more “appropriate" to maintain the status quo. That airplane is just floating around in the TIME, also, over the ocean which is turned into the TIME.
第一部分 你相信这是2014年3月8日的印度洋吗？ Part 1: Do You Believe This Is the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014?
Divide the Indian Ocean into small pieces according to certain latitude and longitude, have a try to locate the missing one by following up some clues. You can also be a seeker, but more patient and focused. The pictures are sinking, and our initial confidence is reducing at the same time.
第二部分 此外，还有很多看不见的褶皱 Part 2: In Addition, There Are Many Invisible Wrinkles
Those “wrinkles of facts" that are rubbed by media and psychics are driving the variation of the facts, or shaping a huge amount of new facts. These wrinkles, as well as ocean trenches, are trying to excavate the unique fragments, burying them in their own hands at the same time.
第三部分 浪漫主义 Part 3: Romanticism
Clues of abstract images are traceable. They can lead us look back to those rational attempts for digging answers, or help us build associations with specific memories. In this story and so many other stories, images give us identities and meaning. But they also tell us: we are not responsible for your disappointment.
第四部分 Who is Your Daddy? Part 4: Who is Your Daddy?
Those ordinary stories that have been proved or falsified were carved into the tall and thin monuments at last, even if they didn't mean it.
第五部分 信-息 Part 5: I-N-F-O-R-M-A-T-I-O-N
News waves to fresh like tides.
第六部分 晚安 Part 6: Good Night
If you keep staring at their negative images in the frame, you’ll see their faces appear briefly when the 30-second white field comes, saying good night to you. Persistence of vision is only an expedient, depending on it, we temporarily confront the oblivion.
Since Then, No One Has Talked with You, 2016
2015年1月7日，法国《查理周刊》巴黎总部遭到突袭时，我正坐在卢浮宫的咖啡馆里刷朋友圈。那一刻之后的很多天里，抓捕、巡逻和稍后的大规模游行成为新闻的高光点，而政治家、学者、艺术家以及其他民众之间围绕恐怖主义、移民、宗教和殖民地问题的论辩和争吵更让我难以释怀。在那时，我深切地被一句话所震动，那是在事件中遇难的《查理周刊》元老Jean 'Cabu' Cabut之言：“有时候笑会伤人，但笑、幽默和讽刺是我们唯一的武器。”对于此言，不存在认同与否，重要的是它让我对“暴力”及其背后繁杂的影响因素产生了一种表达障碍：太想说些什么，却难以开口——所言总是片面的，而片面将阻碍后续的表达。
In January 7, 2015, I was sitting in a cafe in the Louvre Museum when the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo were raided. In a few days after that moment, capture, patrol and massive parade became the high light of the press. Politicians, academics, artists and other people's discussions and arguments on terrorism, immigration, religion and colonial problems shook me a lot. I didn't know how to make a more rational and comprehensive analysis of this incident, but at that time, I was deeply impressed by one sentence: 'Sometimes laughter can hurt, but laughter, humour and mockery are our only weapons', which was said by Jean 'Cabu' Cabut, one of the founding members of Charlie Hebdo. For these words, there wasn't agreement or not; the more important thing is that it produced an expression barrier for me about the "violence" and its complicated factors. I could have a lot to say, but couldn't open my mouth. Saying is one-sided, and one-sidedness will hinder the subsequent expression.
So I can only go back to deal with the two points of violence and terrorist attacks themselves: attackers and victims.
These six pictures refer to six terrorist attacks or violent incidents. Using Francis Galton (1822-1911)'s methods (Galton devoted many years of study to the use of "Composite Portraiture", in which photographs of different subjects were combined, through repeated limited exposure, to produce a single blended image), I composite the portraits of attackers who were identified by media into one face. The face is the base of the picture. Hundreds of news pictures about this incident become the tiny fragments that compose the face. The face is covered with the close-ups of victims' mouths; all the mouths form one sentence come from this incident and the sentence present in the way of Morse code. Morse code means translation, would you mind spending some time to listen to these buried words?
This project also contains 6 pieces of sound, each of them refers to one picture.
Lives have gone. Neither victims nor victimizers could speak any more. During this project, I looked through these victims' Facebook. The button of Follow is still alive, but there was no meaning to follow.
Selfiers: Sealed with Images (with Xu Lei), 2016
Living in different cities, we create two fictional amateurs of photography in 1980s. They took self-portraits separately and kept in touch with each other by letters to discuss their experiences and thoughts on photographing.
Firstly, we use some found-photos or old photos belong to ourselves that are the main resources of recreation to cover our faces onto the faces on the original photos. One can easily find out the traces of the digital synthesis. Then we mimic the communication method of writing letters in 1980s to discuss how to deal with taking self-portraits and other things. After reading the letter and photos from A, B must make (or fake) one or several photos and also write a letter, send them to A. Circulate like this. Finally we display our works in a documentary(mockumentary) way.
Basing on the same rule, we try to sort through some personal threads of our own stories in the project. By recreating his father's photos in the early years, He Bo intends to revive the past stories about which his father has talked a lot from those still images. He wants to think about the relationship between he and his father in this way. Xu Lei reconstructs some old souvenir photos that were taken in the city of Fuzhou. With photos, words and archives, he tries to do some studies on the practices of photography in Fuzhou at that time and look for the value of photography in the development of society.
The Extending Punctums, 2013-2015
Each group of the series of The Extending Punctums comprises three pictures.
The first picture comes from the scanned old vernacular photos that belong to my own collection. I present the photo itself in which there are a lot of punctums. For different people, these punctums are different from each other.
To create the second picture, I send the old photo to my friends by e-mail or wechat. My friends choose their friends then tell them watching the photo and writing down their thinking on white paper. They take a photo for the paper then send it back to me. I put these words on the first photo through PS. So the second picture directly shows the effect that the punctums put on the viewer.
Then I make the third picture. The different words in the second picture may leave me some 'photographic' impression. Basing on the impression, I use some other pictures that come from inter-net or taken by myself to interpret these words. Finally I collage these pictures into one piece, making them get together as the shape of the figure in the initial photo. This is an indirect explanation for the initial photo, also the punctums' extending of the initial photo.
Actually, this program is a game. The change of each picture's subject in each group is Myself-Others-Myself, while the change of corresponding method is Image-Word-Image. With this series, I want to emphasize that viewers are so important to complete one photo. The presentation of one photo isn't just one-dimensional or linear, that is to say, photographer is leading factor. Viewer's activeness should be fully valued. Every photo has more than one meaning and it is the viewer who endows the photo all kinds of meaning.