Muge: Going Home (2014) // Ash (2019)

Born in Chongqing in 1979, Muge currently lives in Chengdu, China. Founder of Muge Gallery. He received the Photographer of the Year Award from American photography magazine PND in 2013, and was selected as one of the most notable photographers born in the 1970s and 1980s by IMA Magazine, Japan. Muge’s photographs were featured in The New York Times, Le Monde magazine and Photography of China.

His main publications are Ash (Zen Foto Gallery, 2013 for the first edition, 2019 for the new edition) and Going Home (Jiazazhi, 2014).


(1) Muge: Going Home (Jiazazhi, 2014)

In 2005, I went back home, back to my familiar land, the home furnishings remains constant year round: old sofa fell in the shadow, plastic flowers beside my window had been covered with dust, the wall decorations suddenly have a kind of sad poetry. Home hides the reality of being ignored in the flow of time, which remains silent, conservating the secret of life.

These images are on my home, on my way back home all along the water of Yangtze River, where as the conduct of the Three Gorges water conservancy project has undergone tremendous upheaval: lived here for generations of countless families were moved to the field, to unknown area, for the begin of an unknown life.

All along my way home, watching old cities those about to disappear, watching new cities those are under construction, in the ever rising water I can still feel the desperate life itself will shine bright sun, and the warmth of sun behind the young boy, in the wilderness I feel myself returning home; the faces come and go before my lens, their expressions are as silent as still life, which make me respect deeply.


(2) Muge: Ash (Zen Foto Gallery, 2019)

Ash refers to the ashes of death: “In the cycle of life, one goes back to where one came from, all souls return to their creator.”

May 2010, my daughter was born. From then on my perception of life changed. I began to explore the world through the eyes of a child. Curiosity is the starting point of how children view and interact with the world; the things around them are of the greatest interest. Thus emerged the concept for the photo series “Still Objects”. For example, metal wires in a vase. When the light imprints on the wall the shadow of the vase filled with twisted metal wires, the image is beautiful, but at the same time brutal. Since then I’ve slowly begun to observe every aspect of daily life and to love this world instead of ridiculing it. When I used the view camera to re-understand my hometown as it is now, I’ve discovered that all things in the real world derive from our internal desire: the karma cycle of yearning for nature, destroying nature, and mending nature. Hence, I’ve gone to nature to look for the three unchangeable elements – mountain, water, and stone – to observe the traces of time and history and restored to nature its very essence: solemn, respectful, and mysterious.