A Statement from artist Rachel Liu:
In “Remember Me Like This,” I reproduced selected family photographs taken during the Cultural Revolution, a socially and politically tumultuous period in China’s modern history, as a starting point. I hand-manipulated them using traditional pictorial art technique and materials. I chose photos taken during this particular time frame because of the striking discrepancies between what the photographs depict on the surface and the reality of the times.
Images of youthful optimism and family felicity stood in sharp contrast to scarring memories of deprivation and feelings of bitterness evoked by these photos. The physical manipulations of photographs obscuring the boundary between photography and painting, the motif of dots obscuring the faces, make these family photos no longer about the individuals photographed, nor about the truth. They become symbols, archetypes, and photography’s poetic moment of truth rather than reality. They demand the viewers to see not with the presumptions of familiar family photographs but as constructed pictures, and provoke reflection on the question of what is it that we seek to fulfill in our personal and family photographic collection and memory.
Photography Friday is a regular feature from Shanghaiist in association with Photography of China, Marine Cabos’s fantastic platform about photography and photographers in China.