Liu Dadi

Liu Dadi, B. 1961, lives and works in Beijing

“A child of China’s Cultural Revolution, Dadi has an appreciation of life, reflected in his latest works that capture both the lightness and darkness within people. He applies a 130-year old printing technique, using Silver Gelatin Liquid Emulsion. However, he applies it in a new way: printing directly onto a granular surface for the first time. By printing large Platinum/Palladium Printing in the past, he discovered the particles within them became more visible. Rather than attempting to hide them, he made them his focus, insisting that particles are the basis of photos. He achieves this by hand-coating the liquid emulsion onto the granular surface in his darkroom and placing the negatives directly onto them for a direct contact print. The process is extremely challenging – one wrong move could ruin the entire image. The ambiguity of the finished prints – and the ambitious process to produce them – express Dadi’s imagination, in pursuing not what makes sense in the present, but what might be possible in the future."

By Grace Brown