Chen Wei addresses social issues and documents human values and desires through his photographs of still lifes, empty interiors, and staged nightclub scenes. Whether capturing dark, deserted interiors or dance club portraits, Chen’s works are marked by a dramatic, cinematic quality. Chen is best known for the “Float” series, which calls attention to China’s prohibition of large gatherings, except in the case of nightclubs. Simultaneously sad and beautiful, the images reveal temporary escapes from a restrictive reality—a sense reinforced by the deliberately exaggerated, dream-like settings. Culling inspiration from the daily news and everyday life, as well as artists such as John Cage, Wolfgang Tillmans, Martin Parr, and Zhang Jungang, Chen is more concerned with capturing the outcomes of dramatic conflicts than showing the stories behind them.