Photographer Zhangbolong Liu observes scientific laboratories under the microscope

The photo essay by the Beijing-based author is the fourth project selected by Domusweb among the 2018 Gabriele Basilico Prize shortlisted projects.

Zhangbolong Liu, Tsinghua University, 2013

The fundamental problem bothering scientists for hundreds of years is the way of observing and documenting. To me, the foundation stone of my practice is the approach of seeing I choose. Rather than being a participant, I would like to be a spectator. By saying to be a spectator, I incline to compare my creation process with scientific experiments process.

Scientific experiments process requires a series of precise operations within rigidly structured environments: depositing particles on silicon slice, gathering signal reflection from sample’s surface, and analyzing data through computer program. As a scientist, one needs to gather every group of information in order to draw a proper conclusion. As an artist, I choose to document every detail so as to unfold the panorama. When I am using a camera to observe the laboratories, it is always like the way a scientist uses microscope observe his samples.

Img.10 Zhangbolong Liu, Columbia University, New York, 2013
Zhangbolong Liu, Columbia University, New York, 2013

Zhangbolong Liu (b.1989, Beijing, China). Graduated from Materials Science and Engineering Department at Tsinghua University, Beijing (B.E.) in 2012 and Photography, Video and Related Media at School of Visual Arts, New York (M.F.A) in 2015. He has won Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Photography (Baton Rouge, 2014) and Shiseido Prize (Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, 2014).

Laboratories is one of the photographic researches selected by  Domusweb among the Gabriele Basilico Prize in Architecture and Landscape Photography 2018 candidates. The Prize intends to support the growth of visual languages in photography among a new generation of artists.

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