when a line becomes a mountain
“I used to draw straight lines. I searched for them in green fields and followed their traces. I projected them onto walls and looked for them in library book titles. Living in the Netherlands, I no longer draw straight lines. The topography is flat. The search is unnecessary because the line is already there. It is in the horizon that is visible all around. It extends beyond the green farmland and into the sea. It keeps going. I was born in China but moved to the United States at a young age. These two lands, rooted in varied topography and vast wilderness have influenced my mindset and identity. I grew up on the hyphen, in-between Chinese-American. Here, I am either Chinese or American. The line connecting the two is no longer relevant. Instead, it has become a curved topographic line—an absent mountain that I now yearn for.”
The exhibition, when a line becomes a mountain at Upominki is the first showing of photographs from the Topographic Mindset project. The photographs represent a selection taken while traveling throughout Europe, SouthEast Asia, and North America in the past two years. The series examines the relationship between topography, identity, and place. All photographs featured in the exhibition are hand-printed chromogenic prints made in the last remaining independent darkroom in Amsterdam.