Somewhere between 1970s concept album art, expeditionary imagery, and Surrealist painting is where Reuben Wu’s photographs steadfastly sit. His are pictures made in the real world, however, through collapsing time and merging processes, the real is transformed into the surreal, evoking a response simultaneously familiar and foreign. The photographs amplify the strangeness of place and speak to Wu’s individual experience within it.
The remnants of his processes – chemicals dragged arduously across the sensitised paper surface, infrared film shifting the world’s natural hues, light leaking into the camera and hitting the film plane – leave traces of their varied journeys embedded in the final image. Wu’s physical journey is a similar one; he treks with cameras in tow to places that, for most of us, are left to those who fall into the category of “explorer”. Considering the lengths he travels to make his photographs, the unpredictability of Wu’s materials is not exactly what we’d deem trustworthy. The resultant images delineate from the expected photographic trajectory and provide a mode of looking that is equally experiential and aesthetically unique. N.W.3 hearts