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A Series of Photographs by Naiwen Zhang Captures the Impermanence of Memory

Posted by on March 27, 2018 | Student Photography

When Naiwen Zhang returned to Wuhan, China—the city where she was born and raised—after graduating from college in the United States, she was shocked by how much the place had changed. “This gave me a strange feeling like there are two worlds, the one I live in right now and the other in my mind,” she said.

To capture the feeling that her inner world did not respond to her outside reality, she began taking photographs of her hometown. The resulting series, “Day Dreams,” was on view at the ICP-Bard MFA Studios in Long Island City from May 15-18. Zhang is a 2018 ICP-Bard MFA candidate focusing on photography and video.

“In documenting this feeling of estrangement and desolation, I look deeply at the concept of place and memory,” she says of the work.

A selection of images from the series is below. All photographs © Naiwen Zhang.

The park, 2017

Two girls walking, 2017

Fire, 2017

The mirror house, 2018

Lizard, 2017

Mom, 2017

Swimming Girl, 2017

Damped walls, 2018

The tunnel, 2017