after the ebb

curated by chen wei

Cai Dongdong (1978), Lara Gasparotto (1989), Sarah Mei Herman (1980), Chad Moore (1987), Arnoud Noordegraaf (1974), Wu Ding (1982)

In the all-inclusive contemporary society, it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to identify with our chaotic surroundings. We seem to be lost in an endless flow of ocean currents, engaging ourselves in a monotonous cycle of daytime trivialities and extravagant nightlives cloaked in darkness. The advance of globalization and marketization urges modern cities towards ever increasing assimilation. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of these metropolises have homogeneous lives, experience and circumstances.

Though currently personal experiences and individual disparities seem gradually to be diminishing, some people, somewhat surprisingly, still take delight in living in a state of superficial self-contentment and rationality. This is due to a lack of distinctiveness, mechanization, and as a result of Forer effect. With such a backdrop, we are able to extract slices from the pervasive identical social context through the perspective of artists, so as to disclose this unusual surface and visualize another vaguely existing world - a world of one's own which is free of both ostentation and clamour from the outside.

Image is not only that of gazing into the other, but is also a portrayal of the artists' inner world. Here, the process of image creating is an authentic course of gradually peeling off the realities and achieving a regression to the true self, resembling the emergence of a silent beach after the ebb. Through image, we encounter seemingly familiar moments, echoing that which is already in our mind and spot the implicit side in ourselves. This enables us consequently to face the plight that each individual is experiencing with a renewed and optimistic attitude.

After the Ebb features the ensuing reflection and case study following the 2016 Jimei × Arles International Photo Festival's Local Action exhibition phu2-su6 (The Floating Island).

Chen Wei