With a background in linguistics and documentary photography, her work melds traditional oriental aesthetics with western art techniques in a growing modern context. 

 

Zeng's focus is on the interpretation of memory, observing its properties concerning her self-reflection of repeatedly uprooting from home. By dissecting its multi-faceted layers and stripping away the confinement of time, she captures the sentiment of longing and drifting by portraying her static images in a fluid state.

 

The presented series of prints inspired by the pivotal moments of Zeng's life, then created in the middle ground between painting and photography. The dim, dreamlike perspective that characterizes her works induces a feeling of transmutation and haze. 

 

Agantu-klesa: The Future of Nostalgia'  invites the viewer to immerse themselves and incorporate their own pasts. 

 

Agantu-klesa

 

「如是思惟,不住名客,住名主人;以不住者,名為客義。又如新霽,清暘昇天,光入隙中,發明空中諸有塵相,塵質搖動,虛空寂然。如是思惟,澄寂名空,搖動名塵;以搖動者,名為塵義。」
 
客塵煩惱。所謂煩惱,本非心性固有之物,乃因迷理而起,故稱為客;又以煩惱能污染吾人之心性,猶如塵埃之染污萬物,故稱為塵。一切動搖不住之物皆為客塵,而非實身實境,然凡愚之人則必以動者為實有之身,以動者為實有之境,遂於終始之間,念念隨其生滅,一味顛倒行事,遺失真性。既失其真,反認客塵為自身,遂於輪迴之中自取流轉。人性本即清淨無染,一無塵垢,然因外境現象紛沓,導致對境生迷而心生煩惱。

Artist Statement

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.

Platinum Palladium Prints on Xuan Paper  

The presented series of prints inspired by the pivotal moments of Zeng's life, then created in the middle ground between painting and photography. The dim, dreamlike perspective that characterizes her works induces a feeling of transmutation and haze. 

 

The Platinum and platinum prints use platinum which is the most stable metal on the earth and with its rich gradation expression, it is understood as the most beautiful print among various printing techniques.

\Zeng Wanqiu applies platinum print on Xuan Paper ( Wachi paper) which is handmade using the eastern traditional technique. With the stability of the platinum and the durability of Xuan paper, it is said that the print could be stored for more than 1000 years. It is known for the expanded greystone, archival stability and one-of-a-kind print statement.

Platinum and Palladium Prints

“ 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.” 

 

—  Oneness, 2018

 

Agantu-klesa

 

Nostalgia' for the future
  
郷  愁  的  未  来 

A Solo Exhibition by Wanqiu Zeng

Hong Kong International Photo Festival

 香港國際攝影節 衛星展覽

   

2020 



 

15 April - 28 May

 

 

Hong Kong | Our Gallery

UG, C C Wu Building,

 

302-308 Hennessy Rd, Wan Chai

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© Zeng Wanqiu 2020