San Francisco, USA

DAREN YOU (San Francisco, USA)



Daren You is a Chinese photographer currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work has been published in LensCulture Magazine, i-D, Der Greif Magazine, Phases Magazine and the official blog of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Artist Statement:

One definition of chaos is when nonlinear things are impossible to predict and control. If law and order rule the universe, chaos, by contrast, is the totally disorganized opposite.
I have been exploring how to let the image beyond the edge of the photography to let them create themselves and avoid manipulation by photographers and cameras. For this series, I used several techniques (both historical and contemporary) to process the same image: reticulated film through a high temperature developing process, liquid emulsion, inkjet printing, darkroom printing and encaustic painting. I then merged all these processes together by using a film camera to re-photograph the prints from these processes. It’s impossible to control the result by layering these processes on top of the same images, together.
The dark tone of my images references the universe. There is always a horizon line in my photographs. It is a metaphor for infinity and emptiness, which challenging the definition of the edge.

Practice Statement: How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?

Gelatin silver print is still the best way in the world to present black and white photographs; it has the tones and the texture that you can’t get from the digital print. That’s the main reason why I use black and white film. I also enjoy the random visual effects that created during the time of processing. Sometimes your room is not clean enough; you can see the ash marks on your negatives, which reminds me that I exist in a physical world rather than a cold digital world. Sometimes you didn’t adjust your processing temperature very well; you will see the reticulated grains and uneven gray tones in your photographs, they all created different kinds of beauty.

IG @ydr999