The Incoherent Light

Wayne Liu

Born in Taiwan and raised in the United States, Wayne Liu is a photographer who works at the intersection of place and memory, creating images with a haunted, cinematic complexity. In China he finds dream-like cities, insubstantial as memory itself, tracing back to some point of origin that may no longer even exist, but has none the less marked everything since.

The nature of his work, its dark, turbulent uncertainty, which is expressed here almost as a physical state, something immanent in the pulse of experience, re-enforces that continuing frailty of remembrance, which is not the aggregate of factual appearances, but something much more elusive.

These seem remarkably tactile images, as though they can (or aspire to) offer the actual weight and solidity of what he photographs, while at the same time acknowledging the impossibility of that very desire. The force of this tactility hangs on the permanence of exile, whatever sense of bodily displacement that they tellingly evoke, of being subject to the unfamiliar logic of somewhere else, endlessly.

An excellent slide show of his project OK China can be found here.

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