Wang Yishu: Burning Sun

Curator: Duan Yuting

Photographers are born to be observers, which rationalizes their career as “wanderers”. Wang Yishu is one of them, always roaming the world with a camera in hand. After years of engaging in social documentary photography, he gradually moves away from mandatory field work and starts following his own path. He revels in the environment he observes and through his wandering lens we get to see the odd turns of our peculiar world.


We live in an ever-changing world and China is the most glorious illustration of its fast-paced evolution. The photographs captured by Wang Yishu’s viewfinder are scenes of our ordinary life, images without grand narratives or characters that will nevertheless become a piece of our history. In this day and age, tales and heroes are not relevant anymore, what matters is the spirit of the times, the air, the perfume of blooming flowers under the chilling moon or the burning sun…


No need to say more, words are unnecessary as the images speak for themselves. There is no poetry here, only the overlooked moments of daily life. Everything seems real, everything is illusion. The photographer draws energy from the world’s magnetism, sometimes passionately, sometimes coldly. He holds a tenuous relationship with reality suspending it for a moment. His photographs are moments of silence in a sea of noise, only if you have been at loss for words can you understand the noiseless images.


As Mark Twain said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.”

Text by Duan Yuting

All Images 

© Wang Yishu

Courtesy of the artist


版权所有 © 王轶庶


About the Artist

Wang Yishu, born in Gansu province in 1973, originally from Jinzhou, Liaoning province. He now lives and works in Zhejiang and Shanghai. Yishu's photographs are widely exhibited and published, both in China and internationally. He has published three monographs: "Return","Open-Ending" and "Borderless". Yishu's recent solo exhibitions include "Caught In-Between", Osgoode Subway Station, Canada, 2018; "Borderless", Yanerwan Contemporary Art Museum, Lanzhou, 2017; "Open-Ending", CIPA Gallery, Beijing, 2016; "Open-Ending", C14 Gallery, Shanghai, 2016. His works are collected by the SFMOMA and Guangdong Museum of Art.