Sunday, 20 October 2013

San Francisco: Dandan Geng 'Born Alone'

Dandan Geng, Born Alone #1

Dandan Geng
Born Alone
Academy of Art University, San Francisco: August 31 - September 29, 2013

After the disappointment of discovering that SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) is under renovations until 2016, I was happy to discover a small gallery just a few doors down from my hotel. The gallery is run by the Academy of Art University and after passing it several times I decided to take a look. The person minding the space let me know it was the work of a recent graduate, Dandan Geng and that the space was used for university exhibitions.

The work of Dandan Geng is hauntingly beautiful. Naked figures appear in unusual positions amid a bleak and unrelenting landscape. There is an overwhelming sense of vulnerability that is heightened by the nakedness of the figures combined with their preconceived, stylised forms. These is an underlying sense of a hidden narrative that makes these images slightly unnerving. You can't help but feel as if something terrible has or is about to happen - how did that person get there and where are they going?

The grey tones and shadows present landscapes that linger between the familiar and the unfamiliar, adding to the hidden narrative. Geng's photographs are stunning and while technically brilliant, they are conceptually driven, with powerful emotions emanating from the frame. Absolutely delighted I was lucky enough to stumble across this show.     

Dandan Geng, Born Alone #2

Dandan Geng, Born Alone #5

Dandan Geng, Born Alone #7

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