Ping Wang’s Dreamlike, Surrealist Tableaux
Inspired partly by his dreams, partly by fashion and partly by Surrealist art of the early 20th century, photographer Ping Wang created “The Nostalgia of the Infinite,” a conceptual series that Wang describes as “an emotional life history.” The series comprises three sections—“Asleep,” “Delusional” and “Untrammeled”—which, together, aim to portray the process of transitioning from a state of emotional disquietude to one of contentment and infinite possibility.
With a menagerie of references to pay homage to—the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico and Kay Sage, and the fashion photography of Tim Walker and Noell Oszvald—Wang set out to create the same “dramatic light and shadow, exaggerated perspective and strong symbolism” in their works in order to depict a powerful, dreamlike visual experience. To simulate the flat, planar qualities of Surrealist art, Wang worked entirely in the studio, first photographing props and surfaces he hand painted in one shoot and then photographing the models in a separate shoot.
Born and raised in Beijing, China, in a strict military family, Wang moved to New York City at the age of 24. After many years of being enamored by writing, Wang eventually realized that “words are not enough to describe subtle emotions.” Three years ago he turned to photography to fill that gap, earning a master’s degree from the School of Visual Arts in 2016.
Photos © Ping Wang