The first time I asked Ning Kai where he worked, he answered: “Well, for the government.”
Born in 1987, Ning Kai did indeed work at a government agency in charge of photography, but since then his life has changed direction. This romantic and tortured young man faced every challenge possible, but his sensibility emerged unscathed. Every day leaves a trace, a memory, giving meaning to what we remember. Ning tries to understand all the things he has seen because he fears that, one day, he will lose them.
Ning is like a happy dog, using his camera to capture the things he likes. In his photographs, he can encounter the past, which now seems so far away, like a dream: birds under a porch, fireworks in the wind. Is this reality or a rapidly disappearing dream? What about our lives? We became independent as soon as our umbilical cords were cut. Photography isn’t only a tool to save our memory forever, but a machine to create new dreams.
Yan Ming, curator