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Cormac McCarthy’s haunted characters. A surreal appearance from Miles Davis. billy woods’s dystopian rhymes. Investigate the gothic South this Spring with Issue 120.

© Tianran Qin

Between Structure and Nature

Artist: Tianran Qin

Project: Billboards

Description: Tianran Qin’s Billboards transforms “billboards into bodies of light to enhance their existence and critique their significance in consumer culture.” By utilizing long-term exposure, Qin floods the billboards in his images with light, essentially erasing the individual advertisements they contain and instead rendering them shining icons of consumerism. The “contrast between brightness and darkness” defamiliarizes each billboard, positioning it as “the dominant light source” breaking through its “bleak surroundings.” At first glance the images in this series look almost interchangeable, suggesting an essential relationship “between structure and nature that becomes a metaphor for the tension of consumerism in our daily life.” Each “glaring rectangle” looms in its photograph, a constant presence that cannot be ignored.

Eyes on the South is curated by Jeff Rich. The weekly series features selections of current work from Southern artists, or artists whose photography concerns the South. To submit your work to the series, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tianran Qin

Born in Beijing, China, Tianran Qin started to learn photography during his undergraduate study. After earning a bachelor’s degree of engineering in industrial design, Qin became a commercial photographer. In 2015, Qin enrolled in the MFA photography program at the Savannah College of Art and Design.