PhotoSummer: Artist's Statement

Emily Yang


My interests in photography include the expanded meaning of the photograph by connecting different contexts in which the subjects are placed. I am also fascinated by the simulation and distortion of reality through the lens.

An ongoing project, Looming, began in the summer of 2017, when I went back to my hometown of Shanghai, China for the first time after two years of study in the U.S . Inspired by Magical Realism literature and film: a feeling of the real over the documentary real to express authenticity through the author's individual sensibility, my first intention of this project is to use the camera to explore the ways of complicating reality. I compose or layer multiple components as well as long exposure to condense information and make magical element, such as the image Blue Print and Pond. Materiality also can be seen in my images. The most distinct is the cooperation of different textures and colors. Varied sizes and print materials contextualize images, and give other dimensions of meaning to images.

Besides being influenced by the form of Magical Realism, this project has same insight as the subject matter of Magical Realism. Over the past three years, I experienced and witnessed the so called 'post globalization', in which the world currently has dealt with Brexit, the worldwide rise in nationalist-populist, the America-China trade war, etc. This project conveys my urgent sense of historical incomprehensibility towards the surrounding environment, the logic of the everyday, the progression of history. Evoked by this sense, I began to use photographs to create a fictional place where I felt I did belong. It is nowhere, but it also could be anywhere on earth. This place looms at a distance, an indistinct fantasy with an unsettling, dream-like atmosphere that may fade from view at any moment.