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Soul Lost

Medium format digital photography / 1800*1200mm
2020-2021/Shanghai

The images of death are more disturbing than those pleasant ones. While waiting for the execution and dismemberment under the anesthesia of opium, those victims who couldn’t escape seemed to be looking at the camera in a daze for a confrontation with the future gazers. More than once, Georges Bataille mentioned his collection of photos of lingchi taken in Beijing in 1905. Extreme pain is an extreme awakening; all nerves tremble in extreme stimulation. It is difficult to tell whether it is the rise of consciousness at the moment of death, or the burst of soul in torment?

Beheading Medium format digital photography / 5400*1200mm

 

There are four corpses lying horizontally in their fallen posture. Their heads and bodies are separated, among which two pigs are nosing around, busy drinking the blood flowing from the corpses. About seven yards away, a woman sitting leaning against the door of a Pottery Workshop watched the scene while caring for a child of one or two years old sitting on her lap. They both stared with round eyes, not at the horrifying behavior of pigs, which is common to them, but at the whole bunch of strange foreigners like us.

 

——Thomas Taylor Meadows, The Chinese and Their Rebellions, 1856

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Sound installation 2021/Shanghai

The display and consumption of death images have dual violence. It does not matter who the looted is, nor does the specific event. The image evokes an abstract stabbing symbol, and the pain of others is just a topic of news. The images failed to make each other more tolerant, but more misunderstandings became apparent in the process of globalization. According to Susan Sontag’s Regarding the Pain of Others, the problem is not that people remember things through photos, but that they only remember photos.

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