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Wenxin Zhang: FIVE NIGHTS, AQUARIUM

It’s quite a cultural shift to move from China to San Francisco, and such a radical change can bewilder and overwhelm. In her beautiful series Five Nights, Aquarium, Chinese photographer Wenxin Zhang deals with the estrangement that her journeys from her homeland to the USA cause her through a series of deeply personal, suggestive pictures.

China – 

Five Nights, Aquarium is a non-linear narration weaved by photographs and five short written works.

I try to reconstruct my inner journey from trips I’ve made between my home country China and San Francisco during these two years in a truthful way, but the overloaded feelings of estrangement and desolation created by the journey have transformed my memories into illusions of confinement. Due to this confinement, my journey story became a space-time, which resembles an aquarium. In this aquarium, cityscapes are fish tank decorations, people are fish, and writings are tank labels.

6Dummy Page©Wenxin Zhang

I chose five nights in the whole reconstructed journey story, using five semi-fictional short stories as clue, to portray the imaginary aquarium. The stories are cold yet intimate, sensual yet intangible. The narration of journey moves from real to imagined spaces, exploring the boundaries between autobiography and fiction.

 

Written & Photography by –  Wenxin Zhang 

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