by Almond Chu
A sense of alienation is always felt in the works of Almond Chu. The title Time Tunnel refers to a journey – the loss and exploration in the transitional journey of life. One after another evasive metaphor comes through the images.
Massive metal aqueducts are important passages in water supply. This is a real-life scenario and a symbol – one that is akin to the bloodstreams that keep creatures alive. The scene is a space surrounded by metal ducts – no exit can be seen in the defined visuals. A pale and fragile lady dressed in glamourous clothes oddly shows up; she is lonelily placed in such a distant environment; she is totally out of place in the setting. Such arrangement, however, generated a supernatural interface that is similar to the fourth dimension.
This is an absurd placement arrangement, which presents an unusual experience. The gesture of the lady reminds one of a ghost: it directly depicts the scene in which the dexterities are out of control and not knowing what should be put where; a sense of strange dislocation is brought out. Although it is an image taken by a long shot, the stiffness of her facial expressions can be vaguely noted – not knowing how to respond to the situation that she exists and being unable to fall into the twisted condition, she demonstrates a kind of gloomy yet detailed loneliness. The feelings of being isolated, getting lost and being alienated come together in an even stronger and dark manner. The focus of the work gradually diverts to contemplation on the situation, the identity and other issues.
As for the arrangements in production, Almond Chu employed a technique that is unique to this series of work: while the handling of black and white in the originally shabby environment highlights its roughness, the work was processed and printed with platinotype, the most elegant method with the highest collectible value in the history of photography. Thanks to the graininess of the visual and the richness of layers, the printing quality and the tones of the picture are almost perfect. If you can look at the original, you will experience the charm of this printing technology. Adding gold leaves and geometric shapes and lines into the photographs, the low and dark tone jumps right up to another level. Another form of unique intervention technique handles the emphasis on the sense of distance through the use of the long shot; it is also an intentional rejection of subjective projection by the artist. Although this is a series of works, each is independent and do not have to be linked together. It also requires no lead in about the ups and downs as the key is about the fine details. As John W. Lennon once said ‘Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.’
Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking exemplified that passing through a time tunnel is entering “the fourth dimension”. As for the critical point of a time machine, as stressed by Hawking, it would be “the fourth dimension. The fourth dimension is all around us, but it is so small that it can be hardly noticed by the naked eyes. They exist in the rift of space and time.