Shifting & Conflicts

About the work:

Project Shifting & Conflicts explores lives of Chinese students who live and study at Coventry University. The students live in a different culture from the one in their home country, which affects their behaviours; diet; appearance and habits, however, there are still some old habits, sort of marks which will stay with them forever. These marks or symbols, if you wish, tend to create a conflict when it comes to the change of their surroundings and their identity. Some parts of their identity remain hidden due to the cultural change and blending in with the new culture they currently live in. The project aims to record and express the shifting and conflicts they struggled with, their daily lives, through the use of semiotics and symbolism in the image composition, colour, post-production. Meanwhile, students’ daily lives are recorded with a classic documentary method, which aims to naturally tell the story of their transcultural lives, capturing nostalgic moments. The students seem to be unconscious about the change in their lives, shift in their behaviours because of the unfamiliar background, meanwhile China became a vague word with a hidden meaning.

A little bit about the artist:

As a Chinese photographer who lives and studies in the UK – a transcultural environment, he intends to practice in-depth exploration of identity and culture, and express his ideas via photography, it’s his self-exploration as well.

Xinnan would like to use photography to explore abstract concepts. His main research interest lays in documentary, which if combined with his vision of photography he could use it as a mirror to reflect the truth. Xinnan tries to develop and identify his own style in photography. Based on research and experiments in his study, he gradually develops a balance point between documentary and photography, which creates emotional, evocative works. Xinnan experiments with his practice using semiology and symbolism, which applied to his works are supposed to unpackage and refine culture and identity. He is still looking for the appropriate form for his works. Xinnan likes to use a wide range of cameras, lights, post-production methods, as he finds it very inspiring and it allows him to see further potential for his works.

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