A Long Day in a Regular Year
Curated by Liu Jie
The work, A Long Day in a Regular Year came about when Li Lang took a high-speed train ride between Beijing and Guangzhou and, using a statistical sampling method to take a photo every minute, recorded the landscape passing by his window. Li Lang has compressed these social landscape images into a timeframe of one hour, recorded the voices of about 50 online volunteers, and projected these overlapping voices alongside five videos as a multimedia video installation.
These volunteers were gathered online, from all sorts of backgrounds and social identities. Talking to them, Li Lang asked them to describe their lives and social realities. Li Lang juxtaposes and overlaps the images from the train with the voices of these volunteers in a mismatched way, so as to present two different descriptive systems to explain our physical reality, and the landscapes and individuals we overlook. The things that are going on in society are like the view we have from the train: constantly changing, random, contingent, and uncertain. The scenery is familiar yet unfamiliar to everyone. The train will come to a halt eventually, sending its passengers back to their reality. This is a metaphor for the relationship between people and society: whether watching or being in it, you cannot leave. For the viewer, society is little more than a photo. In this time and place, society is a landscape and an unknown one at that. People revel in secret schadenfreude. Yet bystanders can't stand aside forever, and they can’t stay on the train beyond its destination.
Presented for the first time at Jimei x Arles, A Long Day in a Regular Year is an installation that recreates the space of a train carriage, in which windows display the projected slideshows and voice interviews.