The Image of the Silk Road - Tianshui Photography Biennale


Chen Nong

Chen Nong’s photographs often strike the audience as intense, resembling period dramas or even one act melodramas. His cast, props and sets all work together to tell stories in a constructivist way with obsessive visual detail. The unique niche appeal of Chen Nong’s Silk Road series lies in his esoteric and dazzling rendition of a theme as grand as its historic namesake.

The Buddha once said, “The Dharma must be taught according to reality.” In Chen Nong’s three-year quest, he overhauled his draft four times. He made a pilgrimage to far-flung parts of China like Xinjiang, Qinghai and Gansu to find an appropriate place to shoot and spent more than half a year copying Dunhuang cave murals. Half-jokingly comparing his bitter work and travel throughout the years to Xuanzang’s journey to the west, Chen takes delight in his hard-won accomplishments. Perhaps artists share a rare gift of getting inspiration by ruminating on their previous experiences and expressing themselves in a special artful “language”. For that matter, to hear what artists have to say, one needs to listen with an attentive ear and a peaceful mind. This could be the way we walk the Silk Road of art and spirituality with Chen Nong as our guide.

A play in a play (exerpt) by Chen Haiyan

Dimanche, 2016, juin 12