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Return To Silence: Cecheng’s Solo Exhibition

Return To Silence- Cecheng’s Solo Exhibition
Photo Courtesy: BluBlu Photography/ Exhibition View 2024

By: Maria Williams 

Time: May 31 – June 7, 2024

Location: 49 East 78th Street, New York, NY 10075

“Humans are like a beaver that never stops, munching on everything in sight in order to build their perfect shelter, leaving the ground in ruins, and then moving on to find the materials they can use.”      

  • Cecehng Shan

Cecheng’s solo photography exhibition, Return to Silence, was held at 49 East 78th Street, New York, from May 31st to June 7th, 2024. As an artist who is familiar with photography, Cecheng has been profoundly passionate about the interplay between nature and humanity. The tension, the balance, and the intricate entanglement between mankind and the ecosystem became his muse for capturing the fleeting essence.

The exhibition presents a compelling collection of eleven photography works by the artist, each meticulously crafted to evoke an introspective experience. The overall tonal quality of his photographs is muted and subdued, creating an atmospheric weight that resonates deeply within the viewer’s mind. The subdued palette does not rely on dazzling colors to capture attention; rather, it draws one inward, compelling a profound contemplation on the ecosystem. It is a force of nature, quiet yet powerful, that stirs the soul and invites reflection.

In all his works, the absence of humans is apparent. “There’s no human in my pictures, but you could clearly see their hints,” Cecheng asserts. Indeed, the traces of human presence are subtly woven into each scene, reflecting humanity’s pervasive yet often unnoticed impact on nature. This silent entanglement and connection between humanity and nature is both complex and fascinating. While we frequently position ourselves in opposition to nature, Cecheng’s work reminds us that we are, paradoxically, an inseparable part of it.

One of the photography works, In Between Silence, depicts a tranquil landscape with grassy fields and distant hills, featuring man-made pipes and solar panel structures subtly integrated into the natural scenery. At first glance, this work might be perceived as a serene landscape painting. The vitality of nature is parallel with the presence of man-made pipes and structures, creating a subtle yet profound commentary. 

Such familiarity underscores the notion that human interference in the natural world is often perceived as normal and unremarkable. Humans have become desensitized to the subtle disruptions we cause, viewing them as part of the landscape rather than intrusions. In this tranquil and seemingly idyllic image, the artist captures this tension with a naturalistic approach. 

The conflict between nature and human constructs is presented in a calm, almost imperceptible manner, making the scene appear harmonious at first glance. 

The title, In Between Silence, encapsulates the artist’s exploration of these delicate and often overlooked moments within the quiet spaces of nature. Its repeated use for multiple pieces suggests a deep thematic continuity and invites viewers to find meaning in the subtle nuances and silent conversations between nature and human traces. 

Cecheng’s lens undoubtedly captures the ethereal beauty of natural landscapes, juxtaposed with the subtle yet undeniable imprints of human presence. In his work, ordinary scenes of nature are transformed into visual narratives fraught with tension. Each photograph exudes a tranquil beauty, inviting viewers into a state of peaceful contemplation, only to subtly unveil the disquieting signs of mankind’s intrusion. 

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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