Here is an interview about myself and my work:
Who is Lubo: The childhood in the military compound.
“I couldn’t remember these things.” Hanlin Wang smiled with two deep dimples. When recalling childhood experience, he occasionally said this. To make him think hard, Hanlin’s first impression in his childhood was on the way to kindergarten. His father always asked him to count the trees on both sides of the street. Because he always could not count, the frightened process left him deeply in memory.
On the one hand, some memories are indisputable facts for Hanlin. For example, when he was a child, the grandfather who had killed Japanese in the old Red Army would tease him in Japanese and say some words we might hear in the anti-Japanese TV series. For example, when Hanlin was a kid, he played downstairs because his father was often unable to go home and suddenly appeared downstairs. But he did not recognize his son and went straight to the building. On the other hand, Wang Hanlin couldn’t accurately evoke certain memories, such as how long his father had returned to his family when he was a child. Because of the faltering memory of his life, he did not remember the names of those former playmates. These clear and fuzzy memories alternately leave a lot of room for his work, “Finding Lubo”. The influence of the military family and the experience of turning around life in childhood have become fictional and non-fictional memory fragments. It is presented through photography as a poetic way.
“I can’t say that I am a ‘left-behind child’, but I’m the kind of kid who stays at home in the army and nobody took care of.” Like many military children, Hanlin Wang grew up in the military compound from his childhood – those who have the foundation in which education, catering, medical services, and other life functions serve, establishes a relationship that cannot be lost between him and the special group of soldiers. He mentioned “Sunny Days” – the life of the military compound in the movie made him feel familiar. But if he also runs like Ma Xiaojun and his friends, it is very likely that he will face a fight. “Can’t be said to be like ‘no childhood’ is so miserable, childhood is certainly there, and very happy, but it is not the same as other children.” The strict discipline of his parents led him to always be closed after the iron fence at his house. His friends came to him which was like seeing him in a “prison”.
Expressing subtle emotions with photography;
The beginning of self-expression with art is probably from the military compound. Hanlin Wang, who was detained at home, was free to use his paintings to vent. From the line drawing illustrations in the art books, the ancient generals, the mighty sailors on the sea, and the heroes of resistance against Japan opened his original imagination.
Many military children will still work in military. His angry, cranky father was also said to him in the childhood, he said, “You must study hard for your future.” After discovering Hanlin’s hobby, he was sent to a local art school. From then on, he was crazy about painting until now. Hanlin now uses photography purely as a way of recording. Drawing is an important way for Hanlin to express his feelings and transform it into photography to some extent. In photography, he can pass the “more direct information” to the viewer. Excluding all these forms, what he did was expressing his inner feelings.
In addition to the photo part of “Finding Lubo,” he also included a manual book and a video work. After taking photogaphs, he felt that the photos couldn’t tell the full stories, then he began to make this hand-made book. After finishing the book, he fuond that he was logical. So he made a small movie. However, “Everything has its own weight.” In recent years, Wang Hanlin has begun to become interested in the mood expressed by his writing and poetry. He loves, Lin Huiyin, Mo Yan, Kafka. “I don’t know if I’m zooming in on my observations, but I can really feel myself paying special attention and collecting those things that express subtle emotions.”
“I will take revenge on him. I will kill these bad people.”
The event that his uncle was murdered was placed solemnly on his work. His uncle was a railway soldier and listens to his mother. He just had a child and was murdered. In the countryside of Rizhao, the family members came to the city and saw only one body. What did this handsome and tall handsome guy really do in the city, and who had any disputes with them, nobody knew. Until many years later, the family began to try to break this case, but because of the old age and no trace.
The murder of Hanlin’s uncle took place before Hanlin’s birth, and many of the clips in this series of photos, the repeated bullets and the enlarged eye of the grandfather’s head were the same as those in the childhood memory of Hanlin. In order to get closer to his childhood, Hanlin went back to his family and collected old photos and documents, but in the end, he chose to have direct contact with himself as a final presentation. In the sorting and selection of memory and literature, the line of a family of soldiers gradually became clear. The temperature is preserved and continued in these photographs.
Hanlin Wang said that their family does not have a genealogy, and may wish to leave something for his descendants.
“My mother and I burned a dozen paper money downstairs in Lubo’s life. His mother must burn it. She set it up at home for a long time.”
Dialogue with Wang Hanlin
Interface images: How did the idea of creating this group of works come about?
Wang Hanlin: This group of works was originally started because of the graduation project. At that time, I exchanged ideas with my tutor and I began to excavate what I wanted to do in my heart. Even if it wasn’t for this work, I would also visit the places in my childhood. When I really go back to those places, I sometimes find that I didn’t want to shoot anything. It was different from what I had guessed before. In the video there is a photo of the father pointing to where we lived and seeing only the shape of the house. My parents did not have the idea, but after I went back and saw it, they were also very touched. This whole process is the liberation of my heart.
Interface image: In the works, you don’t directly present the appearance of these families, such as the grandfather you photographed. Why?
Hanlin: I can’t put my grandfather’s photo directly on it. I don’t want to let anyone have mercy or let anyone know my things. Emotions can be expressed in other ways. There were some photographers, such as Levy Hein, promoted the constitutional reform of the United States because of child labor. For me, it is their own work that has caused people’s concern about the military community to be a bit empty, but for me, I did it to release my emotions. When I was editing video or making a work, sometimes I didn’t feel touched by outsiders at first. I might have cried when I watched. What I did was meaningful to me. It made me feel that I didn’t live. These people in my family may have a little memory of me.
Interface image: In fact, this group of works also includes a manual book. This book is processed with a somewhat rough sense of craftsmanship. Is this deliberate?
Hanlin: I have read various manual books, including printed ones, or mechanical manual books. The quality is good, but the industrial ingredients are strong. The book “Finding Lubo” was purely hand-made. At that time, I wanted to break the typesetting and did not want to have any narrative. Although I was telling my own story, the story was chaotic or fragmentary. When I was doing books, I chose a lot of real literature about myself, such as hair. The main line is a photo, but some text was also written. In the middle I will overthrow myself. You can see the traces of the correction fluid above.
Interface image: You mentioned the influence of poetry and literature on you. Can you describe the effect?
Hanlin: Sometimes I read the poems of Lin Huiyin and Xu Zhimo. When I read it, I can experience the feeling of two people’s passionate love. I would think, what are the most important things in society? Maybe it’s human emotion. People’s emotions cannot be compensated by advanced high technology. Things like poetry don’t know which neurons touch through, and it’s hard to describe what it is. But after you finish reading it, it can give you some feedback to stimulate you. These things are very attractive to me.