I see landscapes as rich and complex texts filled with stories of the past and present. I see landscapes as witnesses to changes over time and space—witnesses to past moments in which we did not partake.

They are also witnesses of the present. And they will continue to bear witness to the future long after we cease to exist.

To photograph the landscape of a geographic region is to suggest a complex story of its past and present. Landscape is a constant source of inspiration for me.

“Witness” is comprised of a series of black-and-white landscape photographs of my adopted homeland, the Silicon Valley, that invites contemplation and reflection upon this land that has witnessed and endured many changing economic forces and boom-and-bust economic cycles.

By looking back to history, to remnants of the past, to marginalized communities, and landscapes in transition, I juxtapose traces of the old and new. Thus, these images offer an alternative story to the conventional belief of Silicon Valley as the archetypal promise land of opportunities. These images suggest a multifaceted landscape that is filled with simultaneous promise and disappointment, hope and disillusionment, beauty and loss.

—Rachel Liu