Artist and photographer Xing Danwen has created a beautiful series of works entitled ‘Urban Fictions’. Her work is focussed on portraying urban monotony, something many of us are all to familiar with. The photographs themselves are of models that the artist has built herself using digital prints.
When you initially look at her cities they seem to represent an ideal urban living environment; peaceful, orderly, clean, everything in its place. However, on closer inspection you’ll notice little scenes occurring. A car crash, a wonan on a lilo in a swimming pool, a woman on a balcony smoking a cigarette. In other words the everyday goings on in city life.
The artist has this to say about her work;
This entire body of work of “Urban Fiction” is playful and fictitious – wandering between reality and fantasy. All the figures in this series are acts of me, playing different characters. This creates another paradox: “I” am real but at the same time “I” am unreal. The figures act out totally imaginative roles and fanciful stories, staged within the maquettes, their plots invented by me and visualized for these spaces. For example, “I” am a white-collar office worker brought to despair by job pressures and spiritual emptiness. Sometimes “I” am a materialistic woman enjoying a life of pleasure and dissipation. Or “I” am a young girl who, in a moment of unrestrained rage, accidentally killed her lover. Together, the resulting pictures compose an episodes, serialized narrative structure for “Urban Fiction”. As a whole, these images represent the state of urban life today.
In the period of my childhood in China, skyscrapers were unattainable concepts connected to the West, viewable only in films or magazines. Today I live in the pictures I make and I, along with my compatriots, can imagine our future by bending down to examine tiny models of buildings. This, perhaps, is another reality of the “fantasies” which govern our contemporary life.
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