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1995 - 2095 Part ic u lar Cir cum stance

NI E YAN


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To my shadow, To my comrade-in-arms


Prologue. The process of arranging for my portfolio makes me feel like the host of a salon. All pictures are elaborately selected, arranged and pasted. I feel so difficult to make my own choice, at the same time, I only expect on the content of this brochure to possess gold content like nicotine, which is not any good stuff but at least attracting to some people.

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Gold Content and Nicotine


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I was inspired from a section of Particular Circumstance written by Christian Caujolie:“Time, background, place, death, blind worship, identification, history, desire, sensual pleasure, guilty, narration, shocking and witness.� Every of the above nouns own endless meanings, and the topic of particular circumstance has extended to the urban level and answers are sought in trying to understand these words.

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Content. City gallery Various forms City City (2) Appendix Indescribable elegance and sorrow


Art is the perfume sprayed on the pulse of the city. More intensive the heartbeat is, more enchanting the smell will be.

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City Gallery


City gallery is the special topic of disseminating wonderful art in the city, and I focus on the quintessence of the artists in the city, which including many exhibitions, buildings, especial schools, malls and even mountains and oceans. I believe that artists from all cities are endeavoring to make their own cities to be more unique through their works. Art to Chinese society is what contrabass to orchestra. By controlling the tempo, the band will be more vitalized to offer both wider range and more stable foundation. The pictures of mine are presenting the silent atmosphere which is quiet and gentle. The inspiration of this set of works is originated from the current anti-intellectual trend on art in China. People are willing to admit that mathematicians understand more about math than average people, doctors know more about health, athletes have better athletic ability and physical fitness, cooks can cook more delicious dishes, and however they feel reluctant to accept that art researchers comprehend more about beauty. The Russian critic Viktor Shklovsky once said: “The purpose of art is to make people feel about the things instead of knowing their existences. The art technique is to make the objects strange, the form difficult by increasing the difficulty in feeling and the length of time, for sense itself is for the purpose of aesthetics which shall be tried to expand.”It can also be understood that appreciation is also the process of recognition, and everyone can see various aspects in art. From where I stand, I expect to counteract the negative opinions on art in the society through publicizing urban art. It’s required to temporarily store your belongings at the reception before visiting, so I only took a camera and a roll film with me. It’s astonishing to find that I am more apt to be concentrated in this situation with more acute sensitivity. The promotion of concentration made me rapidly respond to attractions, which may influence the presentation form of pictures. Ume Kayo, the Japanese photographer mentioned the idea of emphasizing on the distance from the subject. No matter the subject has noticed your existence or not, you need to stay in the same space with the subject. In collating these pictures, I understand more about the requirement. While keeping a specific distance, the photographer can more clearly distinguish and control the elements in pictures. The distance from the subject shall be sensed by the photographer, which may be the unique charm of prime lens.

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I am too crazy about this red!

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The angle form by the staircase has concentrated the visual center on this man, and his gentle manner can be fully presented even in static pictures.

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The shape of wooden show piece precisely coincides with the posture of the man, and I hide his body by the show piece and give up focusing so as to perfectly combine them.

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People who wait for charging at the wall are in different shapes, and the paintings on wall are therefore set off to be livelier, especially the right one in a weird standing posture which is vary attracting.

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I am holding my camera and then attracted by a child wearing in bright color in a group of people in plain colors. Fortunately, the child suddenly turns around to talk to his father and then find me who is now holding the camera from a high position.

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There is a young painter painting in a corner. I take the picture of the desk by which they seat to chat, and there are remained drinks on it. The drawing board and pigments exist in the background, he waits me at the back for completing my photo, and I feel really relaxed when I see him to politely smile at me. Thanks for his lovely and pretty painting.

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I really fascinate the city model with high fidelity. Like my car models and toy bricks in childhood, I always felt that I was able to shrink myself into this tiny city, especially it is so life-like.

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Plate List

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Red carpet,Shanghai,2016 Looking down from a height,Shanghai,2016 Conformation,Shanghai,2016 Isolated waiting,Shanghai,2016 Process,Shanghai,2016 Integration,Shanghai,2016 Rhythm,Shanghai,2016 Faceted pebble and direction,Shanghai,2016 Administrator,Shanghai,2016 Sea,Shanghai,2016 Reading,Shanghai,2016 Fun,Shanghai,2016 Angle,Shanghai,2016 What are you looking at?,Shanghai,2016 The cross on the wall,Shanghai,2016 Painter and beer,Shanghai,2016 Another scene behind the door,Shanghai,2016 Castle,Shanghai,2016 Interrupted discussion,Shanghai,2016 Mini city,Shanghai,2016 Coming straight to the point,Shanghai,2016 Spiral,Shanghai,2016

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Pedestrians resemble the vitality of a city.

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Various forms


I was inspired by the picture of a child in the street which was taken by Helen Levitt. She is fond of showing the naïve and fantastic inner world of children, but there always shows the reality of adult world in her pictures, and it induces me to be more obsessive with the invisible charm in street. I wonder that I can record a lot of meaningful things if I persistently focus my lens on the street. By observing with perceptual eyes, the pedestrians are open and floating whether they walk alone or with accompany; the isolated figure is like a meaningful short poem, and the light and shade demonstrate the poetic sense in the street. Costume, gesture and expression can help us to read every role in pictures, as if we are browsing a brochure and deconstructing a city The impromptu emotional reaction will be captured by the photographer, and the expression may represent the emotion. By capturing the different images of people in the street, I will further connect them with the surrounding to complete the sketch of street view. Through pre-judging on the identity, people can understand the existent relationship between human beings and cities. “The moment of clicking the shutter is the reflection of memory, aesthetics, thinking and desire in our minds, but the subject is unaware of it, so the left things can’t be recognized. After several years or decades of years, they will ask: ‘What are these pictures?’ It may the interest and strength of photograph.” Street photography makes me feel free and delightful, and I will be deeply impressed by taking the photos of these scenes. Adequate chances will bring about many surprises, which require full concentration so as to keep clear mind and perceptive eyes on the hustling streets..

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The old man looks inside and then I focus my camera on him, the flowers fell into his arms, from my standing position, the handrail has covered his eyes, but I know that he can see me.

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Sunshine on their cloths is left with the drape and layer of clothes. Although the city is sometimes lonely, we can still find our partners.

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When brushing past them, I take this photo. It’s obvious that they soak themselves in discussion without noticing me, and I really like the natural atmosphere and their natural expressions.


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City


I am mysteriously crazy about taking the pictures of the night in a city as if the night is inviting. Maybe I prefer to private and somber status. All livings thing will be clearly presented in darkness. I was inspired when I was investigating. One of my friends believes: “For I am engaging in learning and working, and sometimes working for extra hours, I only possess my free time after 10 o’clock. No matter how busy I am in one day, I still need a long time for relaxing and entertainment. So I have to take the use of my sleeping time.” The recording of the night life in a city reminds me of the filmNight on Earth. In the biography of Walker Evans, he mentioned and enlightened me a lot when talking about shooting Subway Series: “I select the subway for people may temporarily feel no vigilance and unveil the masks in this special space, and even feel more composed than in their bedrooms ( there are mirrors).” Night is the same with the subway, status and face are no more important here, and we are more likely to find what we want, and people are more pure and relax. In shooting, I expect to look for more detailed scenes through observation, light, shade, movement or even subtle expression. I believe that these are filled with abundant information and hope to express more real emotions in the night through these pictures.

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What do you exchange for sleeping ?


The science shows that human body will naturally slow down after 7.30 pm. There is going to hold a mini gathering for celebrating the second anniversary of rock and roll organization in this bar, and it attracts fans of rock and roll from different places to get together. For I haven’t been to this place before, then I intend to arrive here earlier to get familiar with the surrounding, and consistently move my camera to set a good angle. The bartender told me that people may start to crowd around 9 o’clock, it may be earlier at weekends, and people are going to leave at around 1 to 2 o’clock in night. I want to express a type of rhythmic and elegant night life, and intentionally clip the faces of most people, for people prefer to forget who they are, and identity is of no importance here. Even though most people are brave and strong in days, they’d like to be crouched animals when the night comes. The languid atmosphere with the fumes of wine may easily affect everyone, you feel it is difficult to refuse when the jazz plays, and I sometimes even forgot my exact business to take photos. Some people get used to sitting here in night, asking for a cup of wine and smoking cigarettes, they may be isolated or in groups who tacitly understand to enjoy the transient lost in night. After shooting for several nights, I find the night of Friday is the most adorable, maybe people know that weekends are following. Wherever we are, Friday nights are somewhat sportive and retaliatory, we feel more relaxed and engaged with more light-hearted expressions. It can be felt with careful sensing.

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Attached investigation. What will you choose to do at 10’o clock? “Reading” “Watching TV and play mobile phone, (smile)” “I will collate my list of songs for 40 minutes and take a bath for 30 minutes.” “Studying” “Writing a thesis” “I want to be a superman to save the world for the smog is too severe currently” “Lying in bed” “I will be hungry at that time” “I am just off my work” We may find nearly 90% of people choose to stay at home or even lie in the bed. Many of them are afraid of darkness but prefer to night.


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She was completely immersed in darkness while only the glass and necklace were gorgeously shining.

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The man in this picture is also a photographer with whom I had a short talk. He is also a beginner in the rock and roll organization, and he said that members are various in professions like teachers, designers, employees from internet companies and so on. Dancing is a good way to release pressure and make people relaxed, and he has made lots of new acquaintances here. It’s him who recommends me to shoot with black-and-white mode in places of diversified lights, this mode helps him to evade from the interference of color to obtain better photos, and it also helps me a lot in the future.

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There is one place in the city- a bar without seats or a concert with wine. In concert, people may voluntarily leave the seat. When some noteless bands are going on tour in each city, this place is the stage for them. When the night fells, it is going to be lively, isolated or passionate people in the city will gather here to drink and sing. This is a band named Reggae from Taiwan which is not so famous yet, but they possess many excellent works. Before the concert, I was honored to shortly talk to them. When I inquired about their favorite they were going to sing in that night, he pointed at the video played behind us and said: “This song can perfectly match with our present mind with the name of Uncle- the title song in our new album.� Although they just aged 30, they will be frequently called as uncle by young people. Many of us may believe that music is the battlefield for young people, but in their opinions, people who are experienced in life can possibly create more touching and moving music. They always hope to receive enthusiastic reflections from audiences, and they can clearly see the facial expressions and statuses of audiences from the stage and will be inspired by the whole devotion of audiences in their singing. Later on, I consciously took the pictures of both singers and audiences, tried to capture more sights of expressions and reflections of audiences and spared efforts to stress on the atmosphere through this method. Meanwhile, I have also tired to seek for some detailed things in this situation and look for a moment of peace in noise.

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For most people, the night in city seems like an exit.


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“Whenever people ask about the most important thing in photograph, I will definitely answer: ‘You need to walk out and keep on wandering, forget about vague presupposition and undoubtedly take the photos while noticing some favorite things.” -Daido Moriyama

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City (2)


Mr. Daido Moriyama has enlightened me a lot. His Street Snap, My belief is the first book for me to truly get in touch with photograph.From then on, I fell in love with aimless photograph. I want express the communication between people and the business street in these pictures. The photographer needs to be perceptive when taking pictures in business streets of any scales or any amount of people. I love taking pictures of shop-windows, posters on walls or any products in shops and the advertisement paper pasted on buildings, all pictures of these things are related to pedestrians and customers. Each time of shooting in the same place at different times or in different weathers is a brand-new experience which may excite and delight us.

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When I unconsciously take pictures with camera, I expect to capture the most natural vitality in this city from streets. Living in cities and surrounded by sunshine, cars and mansions, everyone is an individual and thousands of individuals will finally merge into cities which are crowded with people and cars. I tried to absorb information from roads, streets and pedestrians, and then record the real living status of people in one city. By combining with vehicles in the scene, I consciously show the different paces in pictures through walking, bicycle motor vehicle. After several times of trial in taking picture, I have noticed that the whole scene can be more three-dimensional and more intensive in narration from a relatively high position, and I add some Japanese features in effects for the postproduction of coloring.


“I am addicted into cities… People from different classes are surrounded by exhausted people. Cars, scenes, buildings, hobbies in American cities, malls, small shops, large shops, the atmosphere in the streets, the smell floating in the street corners, detestable rubbish, female club, pinchbeck culture, awful education, religious corruption, film. What are urbanites doing, eating, and delightfully visiting? Or any evidences which can’t be obtained by them while relaxing. Sex and advertisements…” -Walker Evans

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Indescribable elegance and sorrow


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I am really appreciating for your viewing. The completion of this portfolio is more like a process of collating for me.It makes me to be more clear and more about what I am really fond of. Photograph is really a thing filled with happiness, and I will continue to practice it. Although there may be some tedious places and the narration is not well-controlled in rhythm, I expect to do better the next time. I feel grateful in the whole process and wish you happy!

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What's past is prologue


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