Skip to main content
Photography (MA)

Wenxuan Wang

Wenxuan Wang (b.1996, China) is a London based artist, working on photography and mixed media. 


After completing her bachelor degree in the Communication University of China, she continues to develop her practice on MA photography at the Royal College of Art. Her work focuses on the absence, the distortion of dynamic memory, and the return of repression in the unconscious. Questioning if the archive, history and identity could be the pillars of reconstructing a narrative of alienation. Recent group exhibitions include Walls All Around, at Fusion, Nottingham(2021), Final, Not Over -again at Unit 1 Gallery, London(2021). Recent publications and features include Mojo curated by Yogurt Magazine(2021), L’essenziale studio(2021), Aint-bad(2021), Photography of China(2021), etc. The upcoming exhibition include After The High Tide at Cromwell Place, London(2021), Hide and Seek VOL.6 curated by Banshan Gallery, Japan.



No Such Person Found (2019-2021) was inspired by the discovery that my name had been replaced in the family genealogy by a non-existent male. The story is deconstructed into three parts: the vanished face, the false evidence and the re-enactment of the letters, which are presented through the use of mixed materials and photographic techniques. The precondition of memory is not one of the continuous presence or continuous absence, but rather a shifting relationship between multiple presence and multiple absences. ¹ Through the review and manipulation of the family archive is the means by which I respond to this transformative relationship.

Derrida argues that the archive is fundamentally a political domain, a symbol that governs the entire field and determines public affairs, and that there is no political power that does not control the archive and control memory. Breaking through the boundaries of control, I utilize the act of destruction as a more radical form of preservation.


Perhaps the truth that I desperately seek is just a future with curiosity: what will happen when a prediction with an expectation turned into a fiction.



¹ Aleida Assmann, Cultural Memory and Western Civilization:Functions, Media, Archives (Cambridge University Press,2011)



“The spider too sees nothing, perceives nothing, remembers nothing. She receives only the slightest vibration at the edge of her web, which propagates itself in her body as an intensive wave and sends her leaping to the necessary place. Without eyes, without nose, without mouth, she answers only to signs, the merest sign surging through her body and causing her to spring upon her prey. The Search is not constructed like a cathedral or like a gown, but like a web.” ¹


 ¹ Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs: The Complete Text (Minneapolis: University Of Minnesota Press, 2004), p.181-182

Another Cradle I (2021) — View 1 - Rice Paper (30cm x 40cm, framed), Plaster, Sand.
Another Cradle I (2021) — View 2 - Rice Paper, variable size - Each edition is unique
Another Cradle II (2021) — View 2 - Rice Paper, variable size - Each edition is unique
Another Cradle II (2021) — View 1 - Rice Paper (30cm x 40cm, framed), Plaster, Sand.
Cradlesong (2021) — View 1 - Plaster, Red flock, Lead Sheet, Rice Paper. 18cm x 12cm x 7cm
Cradlesong (2021) — View 2 - Plaster, Red flock, Lead Sheet, Rice Paper. 18cm x 12cm x 7cm
Atlas(2021) — View 1 - Rice paper, Soil, Wood, Epoxy resin. 15cm x 20cm x 3cm
Atlas(2021) — View 2 - the surface details. Rice paper, Soil, Wood, Epoxy resin. 15cm x 20cm x 3cm
Distance I (2019) — 30cm x 30cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Distance II (2019) — 30cm x 30cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP
False Evidence I: Shadow portrait of a fictional character (2021) — 30cm x 45cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP
False Evidence II: Standing portrait of a fictional character(2021) — 9 of selected archive image print on Rice Paper, around 8cm x 10cm each - Each edition is unique

How can we go back home?


As if everything that had been solid had vanished, the juxtaposition of the photographic survey of these abandoned places and archival family images is a way of questioning my own response: to paraphrase Bataille, the repression and pain come from a shock, a shock at recognizing our limitations, a shock at the destruction and end of original experiences. My project explores how the nesting of family archives and environment exposes the strangeness and loss of control of a sense of boundaries in an oppressive environment.


By destroying the images themselves as a means of reflecting on family history and addressing psychological issues, I try to smudge the reality of time, memory and normal narrative. After my manipulation, the images begin to disintegrate, revealing a landscape inhabited by ghosts. In a way, I fell into the limbo between reality and fantasy: a false emotional attachment. The review of the archive of family images is more like an inward questioning of how to escape the barren emptiness that hides behind the curtain.

Medium:

Lightbox

Size:

100 cm x 80 xm
Blind Point (2020) — 100cm x 80cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Xin Dong I (2020) — 15cm x10cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Destroyed People's Park V (2020) — 30cm x 20cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Grandma (2020) — 15cm x 10cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Xin Dong II (2020) — 15cm x 10cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Snowing night (2020) — 30cm x 20cm, Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Destroyed People's Park III (2020) — 30cm x 20cm , Edition of 3 + 2 AP
Destroyed People's Park IV (2020) — 30cm x 20cm , Edition of 3 + 2 AP