A Meditative Portrait of Nocturnal China
In his series Neither Horse nor Tiger, Alnis Stakle wanders through Chinese cities capturing various night-time scenes as a means of self-exploration; his representation of places and people becoming a ritualistic inner study.
How do you tell a story about a place that only exists in your fantasy? It seems as if everything there resembles any other place – remote high-rise districts, cheap beer in suburban bistros, parents with kids in the park, youngsters having picnics on the beach on warm spring nights, and the city, as ever, ends with a gravel path and a dusty brush. And yet, everything out there is a little different.
I am interested in the ways people identify themselves with a particular place or situation, in the rituals that serve to establish social connections and in the borderline between the private and the collective. My photos are about China and the casualties that frame each and every person's journey through life. In this story, a photo film X-rayed in an airport and a broken camera shutter seem to blend in naturally.
Photography for me is a kind of religion – a journey, a ritual, and a meditation. On the social level, I believe, people ought to be exposed to images and stories which are ambiguous in the message that they convey and which challenge the spectators to reflect and question themselves. The goal of my work is to talk about the things that concern me.
Words and Pictures by Alnis Stakle.
Alnis Stakle is Latvian photographer, board member of Riga Photomonth, and the Professor of Photography at Riga Stradins University. His works have been exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions, most notably at the Latvian Museum of Photography, Latvian National Museum of Art, Modern Art Oxford, Moscow's Art Center Winzavod, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, and Centre for Fine Arts BOZAR in Brussels. Find him on PHmuseum and Instagram.
This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.