Wang Yishu’s Portraits Of The Evanescent Everyday


Chinese photographer Wang Yishu began his career as a photojournalist, before turning his eye to the narratives that the media was less interested in telling. ‘Borderless’ is a collection of such photographs, a series that looks at ordinary situations and the stories born from them. 

Taken over 2016 and 2017, the series captures moments from Yishu’s travels in China and other countries. They are photographs of seemingly mundane or common events and moments, but through Yishu’s lens, they become fantastical. “I like photos of reality, but free from reality,” he explains. By photographing moments and then removing them from their context, he offers a non-linear reading of events. Their characters become part of a new story, one wholly determined by the viewer. They are, as Yishu desired, removed from their reality. As the people in them laugh and yawn, and the landscapes—from deserts to oceans—fold quietly around one another, one has the feeling that while Yishu likes “photos that are difficult to describe”, he also has fun creating them.

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