The concept of the project 客塵 is borrowed from Zen Buddhist Philosophy. The Sanskrit phrase āgantu-kleśa translates to "guest dust" in Chinese and teaches that involuntary motions can settle atop each other to reveal previous attributes, once said "dust" is discovered and removed. My images are inspired by nostalgia and narrate the dysphoria of identity.
In my works, I allude to a poem of mine as introspection on evolving separately from the environment, drawing inspiration from the line "Re-plant another me, in a long-vanished hometown. (在回不去的家鄉，把自己種回來)." The notion of uprooting and re-planting is apparent in each visit to my rural hometown in China's Jiangnan region. As a result of āgantu-kleśa, I start to observe the impact the land had had on my upbringing. Static through the lens of history, it no longer provides the same familiarity, after the industrialisation and development on its body. The yearning to reconnect has created a new reality, fragmented by displacement and time.
I believe art echoes the discontinuous nature of memory and emerges in fragments. My practice includes organically documenting such a state, meanwhile pursuing resemblance to what self-expression meant to me as a child. With influence from traditional Chinese calligraphy and ink drawings, I aim to transfer the lingering past and the bleed from the pages of history onto an alternative medium of experimental photography.
By continuing this observation of memory and self-reflection for the different backgrounds, it is a nostalgia that I experience. Much like a drifting nomad in this rapidly globalising community, perhaps we are all scattered and stray.
Nostalgia' for the future
郷 愁 的 未 来
A Solo Exhibition by Wanqiu Zeng
Hong Kong International Photo Festival
15 April - 28 May
Hong Kong | Our Gallery
UG, C C Wu Building,
302-308 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai