Knick-Knack Daydreams 白日梦想家

June 28, 2018 2018年6月28日

Chengdu in the rain has a lazy charm, perfect for gazing dreamily out the window or dozing off on the couch. If you’re Su Kui, it’s also the perfect weather for exploring the humble, everyday items in your room—the paper clips, rolls of tape, or sponges you usually wouldn’t give a second thought.

With these objects, Su creates images that are absurd and quirky, with a touch of tension. Blurring the line between photography and drawing, her work uses both media and adds an extra dreamlike flair. As in any good dream, it’s hard to tell fantasy from reality when looking at her work, especially the surreal photos that make up her Daydreams series.



Daydreams is a photo series focused on the often overlooked objects in our lives.

“Most of them were in my room, hiding in plain sight for a long time. I was so used to ignoring them. One day while tidying up, I suddenly noticed all these things that I’d purchased a long time ago and forgotten about. I decided it was about time I did something for them—so I started snapping their portraits,” she explains.


“它们大多在我的屋子里默默躺了很久,被我习惯性的无视掉了。某天我在整理杂物时突然看到这些以前我买下的物品,觉得时机到了,是时候我应该为它们做点什么。于是我为它们拍了肖像照。” 苏葵这样讲道。

Su frees these mundane items from their normal settings and contexts, devising striking compositions to explore their visual language and expressive capabilities.

In her work, you’ll recognize familiar household items like combs, rubber bands, or plastic bags—all of which become vehicles for her individual vision. Seemingly trivial, when reimagined by Su these ordinary objects become works of art that pose a  challenge to your optical nerves. Though some critics write her work off as unserious, Su sees no need to pay too much attention to the art media. In her view, self-expression is what matters, since that’s what the language of art is for.



What sets Su apart from many of her contemporaries is her passion for still life compositions, as opposed to portraits or street shots. This passion comes from her curiosity about motionless objects. “Life is essentially boring,” she shrugs. “I want to take what’s ordinary and unearth its extraordinary side.” That’s precisely what she does: she puts her most intriguing side forward in her works.

苏葵和众多摄影师不同的是,比起人像摄影或街拍,她更热爱静物拍摄。这源自于她内心对于一些静止事物的探索欲望。“生活的本质从来都不是有趣的,我希望从中发掘出平常中不平常的一面。” 而她也的确做到了,她把她自己最有趣的那一面,都呈现在作品里。

Su believes pushing ahead to produce new photos is more important than dwelling on her past work. This belief is what drives her to create. “If I linger too long on my previous photos, I might miss an opportunity to grow,” she says.

Much of her work is an attempt to be different, even if that means abandoning a concept once she discovers it’s already been done. Laughing, she concedes that this is stubbornness on her part, but you might also call it a devotion to originality. Besides, if she weren’t so stubborn, she wouldn’t produce such refreshingly inventive work.

在她看来,持续拍摄的创新能力比过去曾经拍了什么更重要。这大概也是推向她一直勇往直前的动力所在。 “抱着过往的作品不放手,会因此失去下一次成长的机会。”

很多时候,苏葵都在力求一种 “与众不同”。如果她想出一个拍摄计划但发现已经有人做过了,她就会选择放弃。这是一种固执,但在我看来,这更像是一种对于原创概念的执着。也正是因为拥有这样的执着,她才能持续创造出更多让人眼睛一亮的作品。

Weibo: ~/ThirteenSense


Contributor: Li Zi

微博: ~/ThirteenSense


供稿人: Li Zi