Opening reception: Thursday July 1st, from 6pm
Their eyes closed, their mouths half-open, they doze, practically hypnotised between ecstasy and exhaustion; the landscapes are either deserted, imagined or idealised. The photos in Wang Ningde's “Some Days” series plunge us into daydreaming and bitterness, mid-way between regret and reminiscence of a given moment.
Wang Ningde was born in the seventies, the very time when China began “opening up” to the outside world. He captures an image of a China undoubtedly contemporary, yet still carrying a weighted memory of the Cultural Revolution.
A true invitation to travel, “Some Days” leads our imagination to a crossing in the past, the final destinations of which could very well be named Memory, Calm and Intimacy. Faced with such closed-eyed figures and unknown landscapes, the spectator opens his own eyes up to memories, ghosts of loved ones, forgotten images, hidden emotions... a rediscovered time... Far from the past being recreated, it is the process of recollection that is called into question, suggested and imagined.
Like the madeleine for Proust, Wang Ningde's photographs remind us that memory doesn't know how to be a passive actor in life, but is rather a conscious motor in the unfolding of our lives. “Some Days”, a few days, a day, a face, a child, a flower, a river, a train, a wedding, a dance, a stroll... are all enough to revisit, to dream, a moment. As Calderon once said, “Life is but a dream”. This maxim applies perfectly to Wang's work, the photos of which immortalise that which Zoé Valdes, in a novel dedicated to China, once described as “the eternity of the moment”.