Saturday, March 28, 2015

Experiments with Time & Light

“To make art is to experience a process.
Jiang Pengyi

The two major preoccupations for the Chinese photographic artist Jiang Pengyi are time and light with his current work concentrating on his experiments involving these two parameters within the confines of photographic medium. “As each and every second of the production process and millimeters in distance produces varying results, I am painting with light through photography,” he states in his current exhibition’s publicity.

What the end results of Pengyi’s experimental explorations will be is and open question even for the artist himself. As he told Time Out ShanghaiSuch moments are not created by me, and I don’t even know what they’ll look like in the very beginning when taking these pictures.

Pengyi came to prominence with works questioning the rapid urban development of China’s cities. From constructed miniature replicas of Chinese cities in abandoned buildings which he photographed to depictions of urban scenes where skyscrapers dominate like alien intruders Pengyi explored the result of the herding instinct. As he told City Weekend “While it looks like my works are all related to the city, I’m not actually that concerned about urban development. My works are reflection of what my heart says. I want to express how given a space, a desolate environment, if you put a city and district there, it will attract millions of people to this tight space.

Since then Pengyi has explored the nature of the photographic process. From capturing on photographic paper the emissions from fluorescent liquid wax to the traces left by Fireflies, from the effects of water freezing to an examination of the effects fluorescent paper has on photographer paper he has left the political behind in favor of the aesthetic.

As he has said, I want my feelings to guide me to do something, to calmly and peacefully create a work of art that’s not triggered or impacted by politics and money. When I make something, it’s an experience. I wish to make the process personal, slow.

Pengyi’s latest exhibition Intimacy is currently on show at Singapore’s ShanghART Gallery until the 17th of May.

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