solastalgia - PhMuseum

solastalgia

Yangkun Shi

2016 - Ongoing

China

As opposed to nostalgia (the sentimental distress experienced by individuals when separated from home) solastalgia is a form of melancholy evoked by changes that have happened in the used-to-be familiar home context, referring to a special homesickness sensed by people when they are still within the home environment.

People are eager to go back home because they feel safe and comfortable with familiar attachments. From the view of nostalgia, the loss of attachment is temporary, because a person believe that they can go home sooner or later. The memory of these attachments could provide comfort. However, in the case of solastalgia, I would argue, the loss of attachment is permanent, which means even though they are standing in the original place they cannot find these attachments any more.

On a subjective level, nostalgia is experienced when I was away from my hometown while solastalgia struck me when I return home as soon as I realized the relationship between my past memories and current realties has fractured. During the process, I set out to explore areas around my hometown trying to capture landscapes, people and objects during the transformation.

As a consequence, this project is about the young Chinese generation exploring memories and seeking identities in the context of tremendous change in China. By taking photos in order to describe the social reality from my perspective, the project not only questions the impact of the industrialization but also reflects my uncertainties under a particular environment.

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