The great-grandfathers are watching you.
You live in a modern house where there is no longer an altar for them. You no longer offer them incense on important days. You abandon their houses and villages. You raze their land and rebuild a new world. On a day when you find yourself drifting in rapidly changing modern life without understanding who you truly are, it is your late great-grandfathers who are haunting you.
They visualise themselves at the junction of a light which comes from the object and another which comes from the gaze. When you look through your lens, you look through their eyes. At those numerous haunted moments, you no longer can differentiate your childhood memories and their past life memories. The transcending photographic experience is time ambiguous; it is achronological, as the essence of photography is not about its instantaneity, but rather its ability to undo time, to provide redemption of the betrayal of history and land memories.
It is all about searching for eternity in our private history. Every year on a spring day in early April, the uphill graveyard is turned into a misty and mysterious wonderland. People bring roast pig, fruits and wine here, carefully repaint their great-grandfathers’ name on the tablet and burn stacks of fake paper money. The ceremony becomes a conversation between the two worlds: the one with the sacred and the one with the profane. You can still smell the ascending clouds and hear the echoing noise from the firecrackers. As a child, sometimes you wondered if it could wake them up.
In a contradicted modern life where there are confrontations between rationalism and empiricism; between modernity and traditions; between clansman sequence and individual interest, will you still have the blessing from the great-grandfathers?
"To the West of The Solitary Sea was and is a pleasure to read and to look at."
- Ian Jeffery, English art historian, writer and curator