Lois Conner’s work encourages the viewer to explore the similarities and nuances of our world. Though we are shown a moment in time of a specific place, her images invite us to consider the history of that place, its culture and its connection to other places.
“What I am trying to reveal through photography, in a deliberate yet subtle way, is a sense of history. I would like my photographs to describe my relationship between the tangible and the imagined, between fact and fiction. I am a born traveller and adventurer, and an obsessive collector and observer of the landscape, I am attempting to twist what the camera faithfully describes into something of fiction”.
Conner first went to China on a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1984 and has returned every year since. She has made dozens of trips photographing the country for more than thirty years. She uses a banquet camera, a 19th-century invention for capturing large groups of people, which produces a long and narrow image that recalls the format of a Chinese scroll painting, as well as a similar sense of a linear story unfurling before the eyes.