A new edition of Chinese artist Muge’s tranquil photobook “Ash”, released by Japanese publisher Zen Foto Gallery.
Based on Lao Tze’s “Theory of Nature,” Muge’s series approaches objects, sceneries and places from the perspective not of an intruder or observer but as an insider, as someone who belongs, giving his subjects the necessary space to weather, grow, decay, and simply exist. Divided into three parts (“Still Life,” Shan Shui,” and “Scenery”), Muge’s images draw on symbolism and metaphor to create larger connections between the pages of the book. The three parts of the book are stacked on top of each other, forming a staircase-like design, with each photo printed in black and gray and finished “with glossy varnish, matte varnish or special color varnish, depending on the delicate state of each object.”
When I used the large format camera to re-understand my hometown as it is now, I’ve discovered that all things in the real world derive from our internal desire: the Karma cycle of yearning for nature, destroying nature, and mending nature (...) These images are taken from the understandings gleaned from my daily life, conveying the traces of time and history in nature, and a person’s thoughts of the future when faced with reality. — Muge