16:30 min, 2017, HD video with sound
Film by Saana Wang Text by Harri Laakso
Filmed in China, USA, France, Finland
2156 Saana Wang I Text by Harri Laakso
Precipitated collection, number 1 I 12 x 19 cm, 32 pages + leaf unfolding in 40 x 50 cm I Published by Neuflize OBC, Centre Photographique d’Ile-de-France, 2017
H U J I A L O U
Neon lights glow in the dark in tones of green and blue. It is my first night in Beijing, the year is 1991.
Hujialou is a residential district in east part of Beijing. Centrally located Hujialou is changing rapidly as modern city plan is taking over and the old is seeking to find its place along the new. This change applies not only to the local landscape it has much broader implications that penetrate deep into the social, cultural and historical layer of the area. To distance pictures from the traditional documentary aspect of photography, I use fictive element, the masks of the traditional Beijing opera to transform the residents into fictional characters, allowing us to see deeper, the possibility of addressing views on a broader scale. The momentary photographs record a multilayered reality that expresses structures of power as well as tensions between the different elements in the layered image. The real world and the mythical thus attain an interesting ambiguity.
you can view all the Hujialou images on
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