archival inkjet print
100 x 125 cm
Today Is Unsuitable for Shooting (2013), Future and Modern (2014), and Light Box (2013) use the language of photography to examine the process of seeing. Chen Wei frames the world through the camera’s viewfinder, selecting emotive qualities of light with an astute and knowledgeable eye. Each image provides a momentary glimpse, a fragment of the visual palimpsest of urban life: a flickering neon sign seen through mist atop a skyscraper in a new Chinese city, or the phosphorescent haze around a streetlight. These images are beautiful but somehow unsettling, provoking a profound sense of melancholy. They are also a clever illusion: these seemingly real landscapes of modernity are actually sets constructed in the artist’s studio.