Chen Nong

In the digital time that we now live in, the complicated process of traditional hand crafted photography might seem to be a part of history. Chen Nong insists using large format cameras and film, shooting on real sites rather than using photo shop and hand printing by themselves using fiber paper and hand colouring onto the photographs. Each final painted photograph has been worked through their hands with at least 8-9 procedures. Chen Nong uses ‘Staged Photography’ to reconstruct the historic scenes. His ‘history’ are taken in a subjective way, not only through the choice of camera angle, but also the final colouring determines the colour from their own memories.

Chen Nong’s image making is like a film production, as the scenes he wants to take are always enormous, subjects such as Terricotta Worriers (Bing Ma Yong), battle field of historically revolutionists, locations such as Three Gorges (Chang Jiang), Yellow River or even the landscape on the Moon. He often make his own stage properties and clothes for the hired models and travels far for his shoot. On the site, like a film director he poses hundreds of models and sometimes has to use big machinery like cranes to reach the effect he wants to acheive. All that hard preparation work is just for a click. Following the shoot he then starts the printing and colouring work. Chen Nong is probably one of the few people nowadays still hand printing more than one meter large size photographs, through which reinterpret history and address serious issues by staging the senery and the daring extreme colouring.

生活在这个日趋数码的时代, 摄影中传统手工冲印的复杂过程似乎已将成为历史。 陈农仍旧坚持使用大幅相机和胶卷来拍摄真实的场景,并且运用手工冲印然后在纸基纸上着色。每一张完成的照片至少要经过八到九个程序。陈农选择运用“摆拍”重现历史场景来呈现他主观上的历史,这不仅仅是艺术家选择的摄影瞬间,更因为他在作品中涂抹上了各自记忆中的颜色。

陈农的摄影就像是电影制作,他喜欢采用宏大的场景,比如兵马俑,历史上的农民起义军;比如长江沿岸的三峡,黄河,甚至月球。他通常自己制作道具、雇用模特和临时演员、长途跋涉地去拍摄。他俨然是个导演在现场指挥着上百个演员,有时甚至要动用起重机之类的机器去达到预期的效果。所有艰苦的准备工作都为了那轻轻的一下快门。拍摄过后便回北京开始冲印和上色 。他通过自己设计的场景和大胆夸张的上色重新演绎历史上的重要事件。值得一提的是,陈农可能是现今极少数人可以手工冲印尺幅大过一米相片中的一个。

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