The Secret City project is an on-going work. It was developed through translating the memory of my personal experience into photographs. Memory for me is a dilemma, there are lots of experiences that I am unwilling to face but cannot be ignored, including leaving, losing and forgetting. This project is a way to face these experiences. I deliberately erased the space-time relationship in works. When recalling my memory, I tried to capture the feelings behind each experience that cannot be forgotten, and each photo here is a conversion of a fragmented corresponding experience. Using different materials in scenes, I tried to photograph them as fragments of my flashback. Combining these fragments together, it produces a fictional city that explores the memory, emotion and history of an individual’s experience. Facing personal memory, I am interested in how functions of the image apply, and how scenery influences the image itself. These 10 images in this group were selected. The works focus on three aspects: space, objects, and body. Each photo has an independent narrative, and the concept of a fictional city is formed by combining them. I am interested in things that has been both familiar and uncomfortably strange when I look at them. Then I was attempting to associate the idea with my own memory to translate a reality that I feel both familiar and fearful about. In other words, I am trying to build a virtual city by using those real things, and I am testing how an ambiguous narrative in my work can be taken shape when putting these images together.
Jin Li(b.1988) is an artist and lecturer based in Hangzhou, China. She finished her Master’s degree in Fine Art Photography from Royal College of Art, London. She works with photography and sculpture and has devoted herself to focus on the research of the relationship between objects and individual history. Her works has been featured in exhibitions in the UK and China. She was awarded honorable mentions by Hariban Award, a finalist for New Mountain Plan 2020 and one of the winners of outstanding award in China Youth Photography Exhibition.
The Secret City
Hariban Award 2020