• EXTRAORDINARY · ORDINARY - Luo Yongjin Photography Exhibition
    Artist: Luo Yongjin
    Essay: Fan Lin
    Opening: 2009.12.19 / 16:00
    Duration: 2009.12.19 - 2010.01.22 / 10:00 - 18:00
    Venue: OFOTO Gallery. 2F, Building 13, 50 Moganshan Rd., Shanghai

    Extraordinary · Ordinary 
    by Fan Lin

    Through his work relating to different styles of architecture over the last ten years, the photographer Luo Yongjin has established his position in the field of contemporary art. His series', including New Residence, New Government Building, Gas Station and Cityscape, collectively forge a reliable visual link between the image and reality. His work is recognized by his direct targeting of underlying implications through his observation and method of working. The interpretation and description of the world provided within these images is a leading example of the cultural introspection embarked upon within this era.

    Whilst photographing a vast compass of subject-matter, with this same precision, the eye behind the lens carefully remains within the remit of illuminating life through exceedingly ordinary objects. From my point of view, this is another key characteristic of the subjects Luo Yongjin leads people to experience visually. His lens naturally reveals the individuality and ambience of our vast world’s commonplace everyday objects. His sympathetic treatment of subject-matter allows the light of these objects' dignity to radiate. One might suggest that the clear and resolute attitude imbuing Luo Yongjin’s visual descriptions of architecture, displays a deeply penetrating sense of fate. Otherness, in its essence, remains consistent with this.

    The series Otherness almost encompasses the artist’s footsteps over the years. Whilst this series belongs to a particular style, in the process of exploration, the artist comes across objects which suggest additional forms of inner spirituality, a sense of 'otherness'. The reverence for the wisdom of this 'otherness' informs the existence of these objects. Luo Yongjin's lens, with the aid of the natural light shed upon the actual scene, brings out the beauty at the core of the object. This inner beauty is in accordance with the beauty of the soul lying deeply within us. This opens our eyes to the goodness of the many kinds of object in the world, in their infinite variety, and through these eyes, we discover their equality.

    Regarding the choice of black-and-white photography, I feel that the departure from the brilliance of colour prevents the eye becoming dazzled and confused. Luo Yongjin's clarity of intent allows a greater connection with the innate form and essence of the object. The everyday nature of the object is not at all deliberately negated or unravelled through the process of deconstruction currently in vogue. On the contrary, as the focus of attention, the nature of the object is intensified. In the midst of the everyday emerges what is genuinely extraordinary… the image does not deliberately pursue a consistent concept and does not conceal a hidden statement. Thus people suddenly apprehend the pure essence of the light, the dust and the rippling water. These images, without the least fabrication, reveal strong compassion, a view of the world through rose-tinted spectacles, this is the way it is. This goodness cannot be learned, it is an instinct met with in the company of enlightened people.

    Through Luo Yongjin's eyes, we are made conscious of the unique nature of each object gently emerging. Suggestions of the relationship between these objects’ historical backgrounds, circumstances and destinies remind us of the co-existence of individual and public natures. In fact, these suggestions lead us to contrast our own destinies in the light of this co-existence. These objects in their proper place, whether they be venerated idols or cabbages in the sunshine, demonstrate that facing time, with the spirit of peace and magnanimity is the truly natural state of affairs.

    In this age, where our minds and bodies are almost divided through toil and the pursuit of illicit desires, the unification of the objects’ self-expression and their expression of their otherness, provokes our numbed and under-stimulated senses. In the pursuit of goodness, we can gain incomparable joy.

    Translation: Nicola Kielty