Born 1977, Yuanjiang, Hunan. Lives and works in Beijing and Hangzhou
To Jiang Pengyi, waterfalls are worth travelling the world to photograph. The plunging lines of white, made to seem solid by long exposure times, contrast with the dark mountainsides (in Grace 1, a volcanic crater) down which they spill. In these remote, desolate landscapes, staring at the falling water as he waited for the right light and weather, the artist experienced “loneliness and isolation”, but also the endless flow of “God’s grace, mercy, love”.
At first glance, the pale pastel images of the Trace series, made by floating the emulsion layers off Polaroid prints and transferring them to paper, have nothing in common with the huge black-and-white photographs of the Grace series. But their pleats and folds, worked in while the emulsion was still wet, can be seen as abstract waterfalls. And down the centre of each picture runs a waterfall-like streak. The artist says Trace is an interior analogue of Grace: “an exploration of my self”.