An exhibition of photographs by Yiye Teng
October 2014-January 2015
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Water, one of the most ancient and basic elements, gives life on earth. As such a vibrant organism, water flows, floats, and changes its form all the time. There is a saying in Chinese classic text, Tao Te Ching: “The highest excellence is like that of water.” As Chinese, I believe that water contains the hidden, unknown potential to become part of the art work.
Water has always been a complicated subject for me. As a child, I nearly drowned in a local pool and have been fearful of the power of water ever since that incident. Over the years, my relationship with water has shifted gradually from one of fear to one of curiosity and wonder. I am fascinated with the changing patterns and forms that are created as water moves and interacts with different methods.
“Waterscapes” is a conceptual abstract series that explores the dynamic interaction of water in relation to a variety of mediums. It embodies much of what I have learned through studying advanced photographic techniques, as well as my early training in Chinese ink painting and calligraphy.
Shaping a variety of patterns from its shapeless is the most beautiful side of water. To record the original movements from it, the way that I have found out is to expose it directly on the light-sensitive paper without using camera in the darkroom. This process reflects a certain extent of the original definition of “photography”, which is thought to derive from the ancient Greek words “phot” and “graphos”, meaning “light” and “drawing”.
Water became my partner in this process. With its infinite potential and vitality, I am amazed by the interaction of water and other mediums created. As something we might see everyday, we have not really seen the magic of it, and that also drove me to visualize it by my own artistic language.