after the ebb

curated by chen wei

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

In the all-inclusive contemporary society, it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify our self 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. Globalization and marketization urge modern cities to develop process of assimilation of its inhabitants who, therefore, live homogeneous lives, experiences and contexts.

Personal experiences and individual disparities seem gradually to be diminishing, and people, somewhat surprisingly, still appreciate 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. In a such a context, from the artist’s perspective, slices from this all identical social context are extracted, unusual tranquility is revealed, while another world that is vaguely existing is visualized– a world of one’s own which is free from ostentation and indifferent to the clamor from the outside.

From our point of view, 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 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