The Razing and Rising of Beijing, In Photos by Jiang Pengyi
In Some Time is an extension of Intimacy series, in which Jiang utilizes an analogue technique on photographic film that he has perfected over many incarnations and incantations. The artist is effectively using photography to paint with light. In the dark room, Jiang orchestrated the contact of coloured fluorescent papers against a 4x5 large format photographic film. The former absorbs and emits light in a chemical reaction, while the latter registers and fixes the light reflection by a silver-salt reaction. This process is carefully controlled, as every extra second in duration or millimeter in distance produces varying results. Despite the high level of manipulation and choreography, the effect is unperceivable until the film is developed. The process is as much about the mastery of photo-chemistry as the pursuit of accidental beauty. Like the recipient film in his dark room, the artist develops a radically open orientation to the contingencies, accidents and uncertainties of light, time and life.
Jiang Pengyi’s (蒋鹏奕) photography responds to China’s changing social, political, and physical landscapes. Born in Hunan Province, the artist is interested in the passage of time and its effect on society; he is particularly interested in the transformation of Beijing’s urban landscape and the possibilities for how it will look several decades from now. His art-making process often involves time-lapse photography and the gradual destruction of his material, as he seeks to eliminate proof of the artist’s hand. He created his “Everything Illuminates” series by pouring a mixture of wax and fluorescent pigment onto objects and photographing the substance using a long exposure. In the resulting images, the objects’ original functions are erased, leaving the viewer with a sense of destruction.
Chinese , b. 1977, Yuanjiang, Hunan Province, China, based in Beijing, China