Let There be Light
Over the past few years, Wang Ningde has gradually shifted from photography toward installation. But several issues derived from photography still linger in his mind. Through various unlocked elements and interrupted actions, Wang Ningde continues to reflect on the relationships between photo and graph.
The concept of light, for instance, is just one of these reflections. During the instance he presses down the shutter, the photographer cannot see the image—just as if his own eyes were shut. Even so, an image quickly emerges. Photography is precisely the alteration between these two types of states. Wang Ningde wants to superimpose seeing onto unseeing to form a single layer. Like photographic paper, ordinary paper can both radiate and process light. Time passes, yet shadows leave tracks across the paper. A religious supper can arouse a thousand years of adoration, and all the evidence it leaves us is a mere mirage.
All reproductions of reality are merely a thousand years of optical illusion. Allowing light to part from photographic paper, to part from reproductions of optical illusion, and letting it return to its original state of respiration, like the breathing of babes deep in sleep—what would that be like?
Fei Dawei, 2010