Moonching Wu, "Heaven", detail from the triptych Heaven, Earth, and Sea, 2002, transparencies on light box

Moonching Wu, “Heaven”, detail from the triptych Heaven, Earth, and Sea, 2002, transparencies on light box

Moonching Wu

A certain Chinese tradition calls for semi-precious stones and minerals to be submerged in water for an indefinite period of time. Upon retrieval, the hard mass appears softened. Moreover water leaves peculiar markings, which resemble inner organs or blood vessels; indelible stains left by an invisible hand.

The Rare Earth images result from the observation that over time, objects and places immersed in water bear an indicative imprint. Growth and decay are constant activities wherever light penetrates water. Light is the initial source of photographs; matter, the second. Water, like light, is both particulate and wave-like. These photographs seek the murky, metaphorical, and permeating conditions, which occur at the juncture of light and water.

In order to abstract the spirit from the form, I seldom think of photography as the effective evidence of something that once existed. Resemblance reproduces the formal aspects of objects but neglects their spirit truth shows the spirit and substance in like perfection. My photographs are not records of what has existed, rather they are “photo-extracts” of lands, of waters, and various subjects we call matter.

Moonching Wu received her BFA in Photography from The Cooper Union School of Art in 1998. She has been included in multiple group exhibitions, including Bird’s Eye View at the Grand Army Plaza at Prospect Park (Brooklyn, NY), Cities and Desire at the Rotunda Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), and Artist’s Books at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (Brooklyn, NY). Wu had a solo exhibition, Fluid, in 2003 at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park (NYC). She has also participated in a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and has received the Woman’s Studio Workshop Special Initiative residency. Wu was also the recipient of a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Grant in 2001. She has been featured in essays and articles including “Familiar Territory, New Visions” in the Photography Quarterly, “Freshwater/Saltwater” by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and reviewed by the NY Arts Magazine. Wu’s work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art’s Artist Book Database. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Wu was an artist in resident at CPW in August 2001.