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Image:Time ・ Direction——Academic Thematic interpretation of Photo Beijing 2018

2018-09-18

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Image:Time ·Direction


Academic Thematic interpretation of Photo Beijing 2018


Li Shufeng



  After the theme of “Photography: Origin and Future” in 2017 Photo Beijing, along with the development of the country and society, we have entered a new era in the new historical position.


  Based on this new historical position, 2018 Photo Beijing opens the camera shutter, faces the new era, shows a new atmosphere and takes a new step with the unique features of the image,which are on-site, objective, instant and selective.


  Times and directions, in other words, are specific space-time structure. In a space-time structure like the universe, mass, energy, and light transform with each other, and quantum entangles with existence and consciousness. Everything is realized because of light, and every phenomenon on earth is recorded because of light. The issue of photography and space-time is a practical issue that humans use the means of imaging to grasp the reality, and also a philosophical issue that always updates by thinking.


  Photography captures moments from the one-way passage of time, while framed and cut partial real space to form images. The two processes are completed at the same time, but from the perspective of the photographer's thinking process, the two must be manipulated and grasped separately,and they are interrelated and influence each other.At a specific site, changing the setting of exposure time will affect the aperture size of the light incident on the lens, which in turn will affect the depth of field—a factor directly related to space sense; similarly, changing the size of the lens's aperture is to change the depth of field in image formation process, which will inevitably change the exposure time, then in turn change the state of the moving realistic things. For example,realistic things suddenly change from short to long or from long to short. Since the time and depth of field are taken into account in each shot, the photography process is the process of dealing with time-space relation.


  The core of photography thinking is the choice of the moment in the development of things and the selection of typical parts from the entirety of things. How to use instantaneous state to refer to the changing process of things, and how to use parts to refer to the entirety of things is the focus that ?photographers pursue for.The selection of moments usually reflect people's time consciousness and understanding of things; while the framing of the parts often point to the judgment of values and cultural direction.


  From the relationship between image and reality, the space-time in photography is divided into three dimensions: "realism space-time," "image space-time," and "psychological space-time in reading", which is a transitory relationship. “Image space-time” creates a bridge between “realism space-time” and “psychological space-time in reading”. Between "realism space-time" and "image space-time", there is a photographer, his view of space-time and the way he views reality determines the way in which reality contents are presented in image; between "image space-time" and "psychological space-time in reading", there is an editor, whose knowledge structure and attitude towards the public determine the fate of the image. During the transmission of the above three space-time, different works have different effects, some are attenuated and some are enhanced.


  In reality, image, and public psychology, these two "figures" - photographer and editor - play a key role in the generation and transmission of "image space-time". The former captures the fragments of images from reality. The latter compiles image fragments to become cultural products.Photo Beijing is also the result of the cooperation between the two “figures”. We expect that the "image space-time" created by Photo Beijing as a wall erected between reality and the social public is made of special glass. On the one hand, we can see the reality more clearly. On the other hand, it can reflect the photographer and editor's cultural view.


  The image, because of its epochal character and sense of direction, seems to be a glass wall erected between reality and the social public. The photography we expect is: to look at the world as it is and to increase academic understanding of the earth and the universe; At the same time,to create more images that see things in the eyes of Chinese culture and use real-life time-space to create our artistic time and space, and thus form an equal dialogue with the image art of the West.In a unique image cultural field, all presenters can cross the cultural barriers, remove the prejudice between different classes and different ethnic groups, break various barriers, and allow “image space-time” to traverse “realism space-time”, thus enabling different countries and nationalities understand each other more and make people more closely connected.


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  Li Shufeng

  Research Fellow, Director of Institute of Photography Art, Vice Party Secretary of Chinese National Academy of Arts

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