In the borderlands between reality and illusion, lies an oasis of imagination

    Huaiyi Du is a boundary-breaking artist, weaving dreams and memories into captivating visual narratives through his compelling photography. With keen insight into the surreal and contemplation on the interplay between reality and illusion, Du’s work leads viewers on a journey of introspection, exploring the mysterious realms of memory and perception.

    Title: Series”Honey Pool”
    Year:2022
    Size& Medium :Digital Image Arts, Various Size or 40cm*50cm

    From his recent exhibitions in London, we have seen some of his new works, such as “Incomplete Investigation Archives” and “Honey Pool”. Through these exhibited photographs, we can perceive Huaiyi Du’s deeper exploration of dreams and memories. He believes the middle ground between reality and surrealism is the creative realm. Therefore, sometimes his works may appear quite common in life, while others lean closer to surreal experiences. The key factor in his creations is imagination. Imagination bridges a vacuum between reality and surrealism, where all reasonable and unreasonable existences coexist.

    “We all know that imagination is ubiquitous in real life. For example, the sources of information we encounter daily, such as newspapers, media, and the internet, are mostly ‘fabricated by imagination’.” –Huaiyi said.

    The extent to which they are fabricated depends on our subjective willingness to accept them. The ultimate pursuit of truth is unrealistic because truth itself is inherently difficult to define. Many phenomena in life are analogous to the superposition concept in quantum theory. Probability provides a rational entry point to explore the world, where anything can exist, disappear, or transform into something else under specific circumstances.

    On the other hand, Huaiyi is very fond of Deleuze’s concept of “intensity.” The continuation of any form or emotion can lead to vastly different outcomes due to differing intensities. When creating these works, He first abandons the notion of precise objective expression and instead provides himself f with a certain creative context (between the real and the unreal). Guided by emotional experiences, Huaiyi explores the different “intensities” of emotions. These varied emotional experiences give rise to the diverse nature of each piece of work.

    Title: Series”Incomplete Investigation Archives”
    Year:2024
    Size& Medium :Digital Image Arts, Various Size or 40cm*50cm

    These images delve into the perception of “déjà vu” and also depict a kind of “cognitive error.” Throughout his creative process, Huaiyi Du has consistently aimed to situate the contextual meaning of the images between reality and surrealism, to express abstract concepts like memory and emotions. These photographs represent Du’s exploration of personal dreams and memories at different stages of life.

    Title: Series”Honey Pool”
    Year:2022
    Size& Medium :Digital Image Arts, Various Size or 40cm*50cm

    “I believe that individual visual memories often distort original memories. For example, during sleep, real memories are continually reshaped and overlaid through dreams, and over time, these inaccurately conditioned memories tend to replace the original ones. I often believe that things I’ve seen in the past were a certain way, but often they are not. This conviction and reality often diverge. Once the boundaries of this reality become less tangible, perhaps ambiguity represents another aspect of the world.” — Huaiyi Du

    Title: Series”Incomplete Investigation Archives”
    Year:2024
    Size& Medium :Digital Image Arts, Various Size or 40cm*50cm

    In the ‘Incomplete Investigation Archives,’ Huaiyi Du continuously blurs the boundaries of reality, to some extent, disrupting the photography’s traditional function of ‘truthful representation.’ Through the use of new technologies and mediums, Du never ceases to explore. He finds excitement in every fresh technological advancement. ‘The duality of technology often manifests in practice. For creators, instead of worrying about its dual nature, exploring the creative breakthroughs brought about by technological changes is a source of excitement,’ explains Du. He elaborates that the creation of the images does not rely on overlays from the real world, but may instead come from the virtual world or the past (such as images from old newspapers).

    Title: Series”Incomplete Investigation Archives”
    Year:2024
    Size& Medium :Digital Image Arts, Various Size or 40cm*50cm

    “Huaiyi Du sees the middle ground between reality and surrealism as his creative domain. Therefore, his works often manage to glimpse certain details from real life in an almost surreal experience. Imagination is a crucial element in Du’s extensive body of work because it bridges the gap between reality and surrealism, where all reasonable and unreasonable coexist.”

    “We all know that imagination is ubiquitous in real life. For example, most of the sources of information we encounter daily, such as newspapers, media, and the internet, are mostly ‘created by imagination.’ The extent to which they are created depends on our subjective willingness to accept them. The pursuit of truth itself is unrealistic because truth itself is difficult to define. Many phenomena in life are analogous to the superposition concept in quantum theory. Probability provides a rational entry point to explore the world, where anything can exist, disappear, or transform into something else under specific circumstances.” — Huaiyi Du

    In the realm of reality’s boundaries, Huaiyi Du is exploring the authenticity of memory and consciousness from his unique perspective. As the original reality is gradually digitized, will anyone still care about the scenes of reality after it has passed? Huaiyi continues to explore and create within this seemingly contradictory trend.

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