Suburban
Project info

"Suburban" is an ongoing photography project created in 2012. It consists mainly of various landscapes of Eastern Melbourne which includes stores, car parks, streets and residential areas. At the early stage, the images were captured non-continuously but the project started to take shape in 2014. During the last two years, “Suburban" was influenced by three streams of photographic styles: documentary works produced by Roy Stryker in 1935 for FSA of the US Government, Typologies and New Topographics in 1975. The representative figures for the latter two styles are Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Henry Wessel, Stephen Shore and Becher. The direction of "Suburban" originated from the above theories.

The idea of the making of "Suburban" was based on my individual and unique relationship with Melbourne. I am now 48 years old. In 1990, I left Guangzhou at the age of 24 to settle in Melbourne. To date, I have lived in the city for 24 years. What a beautiful coincidence! In the last 24 years, I transformed from an ignorant young man to a father of two children with the golden period of my life living here. Melbourne is definitely my home, thus my determination to record this city through photographs - to make my personal historical files. I am not sure when "Suburban" will be completed but I will keep on taking photographs until I am not in this city anymore. From a technical perspective, "Suburban" is also a reflection of my trial in redefining the meaning of photography after 20 years of practice in this area. I conclude that photography should go back to its basic substance and not just focus on the form; otherwise it can't be distinguished from other mediums.

The equipments used for making "Suburban" are: 3 sets of Sinar Large Format Camera, Schneider 75mm wide angle lens and Rodenstock 150mm standard lens. The films used are: Kodak TrX320 and Ilford HP5+400 4×5 inches. The developer used is Kodak D76 diluted 1+1. The speed set for Ilford HP5+ is on 320 and processed in N+1.