F-Stop Magazine: How did you first become involved in photography and what led to you working in this medium as an artist?
Jiaxi Yang: I’ve been influenced by my boyfriend Zhe Zhu who is a truly talented and passionate photographer. And he is the one who encouraged me to start taking photographs with a camera. I immediately fell in love with this medium.
F-Stop: The current issue of F-Stop Magazine includes images from your project “The Horizontal Mode of A Waking Life,” can you tell us about this project? How did this project come about?
JY: This project is composed of still-life photographs of arranged food and objects such as octopus, pig’s blood cake, papaya seeds, coffee sleeve, cooktop. I began this project in 2014 as experiences of sleepwalking through the daily life, explorations of the barely recognized traces of desire. Theatrical, and often absurd, my living space becomes a stage set on which I perform my own little creation. I animate what I have on hand. I relocate the subjects from their original contexts in order to call attention to the waste, the decay and the delicacy, that would otherwise be overlooked and lifeless.
F-Stop: What were you looking to capture?
JY: I am fascinated by the context, in its affect performed on the perception and meaning of the objects. My work places careful attention on the context and challenge the line between photography and sculpture.
F-Stop: What do you hope people see or feel or perhaps learn when they look at your photographs?
JY: I want people to see the beauty in the unremarkable, to perceive habitual existence in a completely new way. I want these displaced objects to prompt the viewer to imaginatively reconstruct fictional narratives of the owner’s life or even their own lives.
F-Stop: Are you working on any other projects currently?
JY: I am also working on another project which starts from an abandoned beach located at the far corner of the city. It used to be a landfill for New York City garbage. I use the remnants of the past garbage found
there to tell a story that sits between the past and the uncertain future. A project comes with an adventure 🙂
F-Stop: What photographers or other artists inspire you?
JY: I’ve always been inspired by minimalist artists such as Fred Sandback, Agnes Martin, and Carl Andre. And photographers such as Thomas Demand, Barbara Kasten and Kenji Aoki. To name a few.
To see more of Jiaxi Yang’s work: Jiaxiyang.com