Photography by Nai Wen Hsu
Edited and Concept by Nai Wen Hsu, Federico Carpani
Design by Chen Huang Chian
Calligraphy by Chia Che Chang
Self- published by Nai Wen Hsu
Printed in Taiwan, 2017
Format：4 leporellos with obi
絕, if translated to English, has various meanings – ‘absolute’, ‘matchless’, ‘dead-end’, and ‘no longer’.
句, if translated, is of the possible meanings for ‘language’, ‘line’, ‘dot’, and ‘period’.
絕+句 ≈ absolute language ≈ dead-end period ≈ incomparable dot, or no longer language and etc.
The multi-layers of the possible produced meanings, after these two characters joint, is the target Nai Wen Hsu exploring in photography in its silence.
'絕句' is also the name for an form of ancient Chinese poetry, owing its especial strict rules on syllable, rhyme and antithesis - 28 characters to complete a four-line poem, similar to quatrain, while each line consists of 7 characters, all following the rules.
Imitating the expression and idiosyncrasies from ancient poets, the photographer fulfills 28 standard vacancies
with selected image among thousands to complete ‘絕句’ and puts this idea further into printing and binding.
By composing a stream of consciousness and also by imagining the sounds and rhyme in images, Nai experiments
a way to tell the story on her roving years oversea. Moving, landing, discovering, and deconstructing, and then arriving
as the loop keeping going - perhaps it is the reason visual symbols of water and boat founded frequently in her works.
And this photobook meanwhile conveys a 'meta-‘ thought/perspective upon these memories, like a tone of '-other', after re-collecting, fitting, and composing them into a fixed expressive format.
The selected photos were made mostly in England and France, between 2014-2016.
Sailing I choose the route
But I go through something that am afraid of
It is the fear can never be prepared enough
To cross, over all the metaphors -
'rough sea and unknown shores,
fierce krakens, whispering gales,
wise anchoret, howling wolves,
songs for smoke, answers for smile
best breakfast, gazes into electrical
shoulders' bearings, light breaking,
warmth of campfire, smells of home, aurora of spirit, lands of milk
a cup of coffee another good morning
dawn light, twilight light, infinity’
whatever they are, they won't be just words
whatever they are, we are
Have been immersed in some heavenly sublime
and of course some destroys were hellish
Towards an endless journey they just keep looping
Possibilities, yes. Too much about futilitarian, true.
Just going to be devoted to the great potential rebel -
make a silent shyly inquiry that -
what is it
to be alive
It is the pesach
Worth another thousand miles of celebrating
Afterword written by Nai-Wen Hsu
During the process -
special thanks to my parents, Paul Halliday, Mark Pearson, Amanda Lo, Shauba Chang,
Liangpin Tsao, Juan Sea, Potsung Huang, David Wang, Peiyin Hsieh, Afan Zhong