In the past year, the main targets I photographed were models with their faces covered. By stripping people’s identity away, I gradually started to reflect on one thing: Does a person’s ability to dominate and manipulate their environment comes from their autonomous nature as a non-object? Is there a possibility that this relationship could be changed by transforming the model into an object?

The concept of absurdity first came into my mind while arranging the model as an object. I realize this is a topic where illusion and reality come together, yet remain independent from each other as well. By extracting reality and putting it into illusion, or placing illusion into reality, we can create a sense of absurdity.

As a Chinese who left his country and drifted in a foreign land for many years, the clash of the desire to relate and the expression of cultural differences, had helped me form another silent language - the absurdity. In this project, I tried to unveil the sense of foreignness by showing the absurd images I created. Like a carnival of one, the “objects” in the frame also escape to the world of their own. Some are standing, some are bending or hiding in different images. What we won’t see in the real world, is fixated inside the frame from that moment on.

On the other hand, the documentary part that appears from time to time, no matter it’s a giant plant or a strangely shaped tree stump, blurs the boundary of the real and the unreal.

A sense of identity is what I am trying to visualize by constantly creating images like these, as well as to awake the sympathy in people like me. I believe that with the development of globalization, there will be even more people who choose or have to cut off their cultural “root” but are eventually isolated in their new world. So I hope my works may be able to bring consolation to those drifting “tumbleweeds” to some degree.

© 2020 Yang Gu