a Chinese Nationalist in the woods

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In his East Meets West series, Tseng Kwong Chi dons a Mao uniform bought at a second hand thrift store and photographs himself in front of national and well known landmarks. In most of the images, he stands impassive and stiff in front of these landmarks, like an out of place tourist. It may just be that he is being satirical, mocking the notion of the “tourist,” or because you can see the shutter release cable in most of the images, the artificiality of the photograph itself. I find, in my most favorite of his photographs from the series, a more melancholy feeling overall and the surrender to the Sublime of the surrounding landscape that is most reminiscent of Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog. And sigh. Square photography. I heart you.

The Author

artist. homebody. cinephile. slow book collector.

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