Gulu - Wild Photos
“WILDPHOTOS” is a collection of almost 300 polaroid pictures that I took between 2017 and 2021. On a photography level, through the peculiarity of polaroids, I carried out a second creation, including painting, collage, film transfer and flame burning. From the content to its overall structure, these works are rebellion and subversion against the tradition. But what I want to clarify is that these pictures oppose the restraints of reality while cheering for the expression of freedom, embodying the Chinese philosophy of the Yin & the Yang, or the philosophy of mutual enhancement and inhibition between the five elements. I sum that up with “the coexisting of water and fire”.
As everyone knows, the imaging of Polaroid photos is inseparable from the liquid chemicals in the photographic paper, and the technology of secondary processing of "film transfer". Moreover, the photographic paper must be peeled off, and the picture immersed in the water; this way the water becomes the medium that will complete the transfer, leading its own characteristics to appear on the picture. That is how eventually water appears on the work. Thus, I wanted to take one more step, as I thought of the opposite of water, fire. Water represents Yin, fire Yang. It seems like paper-based Polaroids have never come in relation to fire, so during the development of an image, I tried to involve fire. Thereby, making water and fire, these antagonists create a new collision right on the same picture, consequently mixing into a new work of art. After testing relentlessly for a year, I put part of the resulting images in the second half of a book. It seems just like offering sacrifices in primitive religions, as the people in the Polaroids went through a baptism of water and fire, almost making me see God.
Following a timeline, the book “WILDPHOTOS” can be divided into three macro sections: the first part includes works from 2017 to 2020; the central part focuses on the collage of film transfer; the last part consists of the new trials made in 2021. The name of the book has two levels of meaning: one is the English name “WILDPHOTOS”, as this collection makes the body the main content of the book. My and the models’ common objective is to get rid of the false and retain the true, making the human body return to the natural state, making people human again, finding a freer, wild condition. The second one is the Chinese name “歪风”, as these works lack of a place to exist in the conservative, biased and narrow-minded atmosphere of the Chinese society. Being regarded as "unhealthy tendencies" of moral corruption, what we have to do is to let this unhealthy trend blowdown and let countless weeds grow again.
This catalogue is published on the occasion of Gulu’s exhibition organized by Migrant Bird Space Berlin, curated by Lu Mei.
Edited by Lu Mei
Photographs and preface: Gulu
Book Design: Camilla Dal Cero, Yizhi Zhang
Print: Gallery Print, Berlin
© 2022 Gulu, Migrant Bird Space, All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior written permission of the publishers. Any breach of copyright and intellectual property laws shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
Gulu is represented by the gallery Migrant Bird Space Berlin Koppenplatz 5, 10115 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 49952524
For more information about the artist: https://www.migrantbirdspace.com/gallery/artists/118
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