沈凌昊 | 昙花,只为夜晚盛开
Shen Linghao | It Blooms Nocturnally,and wilts before Dawn
中国 China





“It blooms nocturnally, and wilts before dawn" is a site-specific art project created by Shen Linghao for the Dianchi Lake Cultural Art Season. Through the artistic practices involving photography, optical materials, plants, and space, he continues his exploration of life, time, and existence. The artist takes the local epiphyllum in Kunming as the theme, intending to present the short and splendid life cycle of this flower while exploring the self-reflection of human subjectivity.

Inspired by Haruki Murakami's novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, which explores the transience, fragility of human existence, and the subtle connections between individuals and their environment through the protagonist being deprived of his shadow. The optical photography work "It blooms nocturnally, and wilts before dawn" presents different forms during day and night, documenting the artist's perception and guiding light towards the sea along the coastline. In the night, the specially crafted image of the peony emits a white halo, presenting an "ephemeral" optical image of the blooming peony, prompting viewers to contemplate the profound moments and constants of life.

In the construction of space, the artist uses the wind chime installation "The Bell Ringer" and light-sensitive medium photography embedded in the site to restore the texture and atmosphere of the Xiaojia residence in Haiyan Village. The installation "Shadow Square" reproduces the scene from the novel where the person who lost their shadow encounters the shadowless person. The actions of the peony nursery and the audience are recorded on the light screen, dancing with the light and shadows of the night.

With a unique artistic language, the artist transforms the dilapidated courtyard of a rural residence into a "garden of light," creating an open artistic space. By capturing the moment when the peony blooms in the night, freezing individuals on the edge of time, the artist invites the audience to feel the integration of the artwork, space, and nature between day and night, comprehending life experiences beyond the ordinary.





Shen Linghao was born in 1988 in Shanghai, China. He graduated from the Painting Department of the Shanghai Academy of Visual Arts at Fudan University and completed his postgraduate studies in Experimental Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute. Currently, he lives and works in Shanghai.

Shen Linghao's artistic mediums include photography, video, installations, and writing. His creative journey originated from photography, serving as a perceptual tool towards the real world, and evolved into a visceral experience, cultivating a resonance of body and soul. His works delve into history, truth, time, and reality, encapsulating these themes within highly individualized artistic scenes. The respect for individual life and the precariousness of contemporary reality jointly contribute to the focus on "subjectivity."

Over the years, Shen Linghao's artistic practice has been dedicated to the localized and experimental exploration of light and space. His representative interactive optical installations, utilizing new materials and technologies, investigate the possibilities and perceptual extensions of technology in art, serving as a syntax of conceptual ideas. Through the "retentiveness" of photosensitive materials, he presents a retrospective of time and the ephemeral nature of memory, imparting specific spaces with intensity through the impact of images on individual experiences. This connection with each present audience reconstructs the relationship between time and memory, invoking human vulnerability, existence, and synesthesia.