Xinlong Lin (b. 1998) is a Chinese photographer working and living in London. He completed his BA at Changchun Guanghua University in 2021. His practice explores the relations between photography and reality. He uses both staged photography and straight photography to express the state of life which he has been viewing.
Medium:Analog Photographs, giclee print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta.
Size:40*50 cm, 80*100 cm, Flexible sizes.
As Orientalism became widely disseminated in England and throughout the Western world as a cultural symbol, I began contemplating the tension between my individual experience as a Chinese person and the Western gaze upon the "Chinese-inspired" architecture and streetscapes that emerged from this Orientalist perspective. On one hand, I feel a sense of familiarity and belonging as these cultural markers—such as food, Chinese people, lanterns, and the color red—evoke a certain affinity for me as a Chinese person in a foreign land. On the other hand, these elements are undoubtedly a Western gaze upon China—a fascination with the exotic.
Fragments of Chinese culture have become the "Other" in this foreign land and have simultaneously become a "homeland" for those who are considered as the "Other." They are like random flowers growing along the riverbank. I am intrigued by how the previous generation of Chinese people, during the politically tumultuous and idealizing Western world of the 70s and 80s, sought to find a balance between their individual survival and the gaze of the Western society upon them as "Chinese." Furthermore, I am interested in exploring the present-day lives and spiritual states of that generation of Chinese people, several decades later. Through the visual medium of photography, I aim to capture and depict their daily lives, and in doing so, reflect the evolving spirit of our changing time