Time can be a difficult variable to visually convey in still photography, both the length of time an exposure takes or a series of photos meant to depict the passage of time can be somewhat ambiguous without a written explanation. In his latest series, Time is a dimension, Singapore-based photographer Fong Qi Wei (previously) explores just that idea by shooting landscapes from a stationary position over a 2-4 hour period and then digitally slicing the images to create a layered collage. He shoots at sunset or sunrise to obtain a wide variation in light and then carefully cuts each image to reveal incremental timeframes. He explains:
The basic structure of a landscape is present in every piece. But each panel or concentric layer shows a different slice of time, which is related to the adjacent panel/layer. The transition from daytime to night is gradual and noticeable in every piece, but would not be something you expect to see in a still image.
Similarly, our experience of a scene is more than a snapshot. We often remember a sequence of events rather than a still frame full of details. In this series, I strive to capture both details and also a sequence of time in a single 2 dimensional canvas. I hope it gives you pause and reconsider what you experience versus what you shoot with your next camera phone.
You can see many more examples on his website, and read more about his process right here.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!