When to Leave

The images of “When To Leave” portray large-format wet-plate collodion landscapes of desolate western regions in China. Innovating on this 19th-century photographic process, Luo Dan enlarges his works to the scale of 160cm (~60”) rendering with exquisite beauty and detail in a rarely seen large format.

      Harnessing the weight and history of the photographic medium, Luo Dan's works reverberate with the power of time, place, process, and most importantly the idea of transcending time. The images in “When To Leave” not only present the viewer with intriguing desolate and primal landscapes but they also transmit the canons of historical photography. In contrast with 21st century photographic culture, with its almost desensitizing flow of digital image content, Luo Dan’s hand printed large-format images generate a new part-contemporary, part-historical viewing experience with convincing visual power. 

        Luo Dan was born in Chongqing in 1968 and graduated from the Sichuan Fine Art Academy in 1992. He is the recipient of several photography awards, including the prestigious Art Award China (AAC) for Photography Artist of the Year 2013, for his Simple Song series. In addition, one of the images from this series ("Simple Song No.25: John Ringing The Bell") was included in the second edition of Phaidon’s The Photography Book (2015), “an unsurpassed collection of more than 550 superb images that represent the world's best photographers from the mid-nineteenth century to today”.  He currently lives and works in Chengdu, China.

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