This is an unpublished project premiered today on C41 Magazine.
Wenkai Wang is a Chinese photographer and filmmaker born in 1996 and based in New York. Wenkai is currently finishing his BA degree at NYU Tisch School of The Arts, United States. The photos of Wenkai Wang are often results of juxtaposing staged reality with an unlikely cast of the surreal.
Wenkai’s work has been recently included in the 2020 Lens Culture Exposure Award. His work has been exhibited by The Independent Photographer, Asia Society and Museum, C41 Magazine, CineCina Festival, New York Independent Animation Festival and etc.
About ‘Day for Night’ – words by Wenkai Wang:
“Day for Night” is a cinema term that refers to shooting night scene during day time in order to save budget and have more controls over lights.
At the core of its concept lays the human desire to dominate and recreate natural phenomenon that illudes others to believe what is shown. This is how I feel about Cuba, too. The magical realism embedded in Cuba’s convoluted history makes an outsider, like me, constantly question what is the truth of everything that I have experienced so far here. The more time I spend here, the more people I talked to, the more polarized I feel about the Cuban reality, where everything seems to work in a binary system, self-conflicting but special in its own way. With two different currencies and price systems, where Pesco is for the locals and the Cucs for tourists; with two different jobs, one for fixed salary and the other part-time; with two views people hold toward their countries, where the optimist stays for a better future and the pessimist leaves for a better future as well. I witness the fabricated city attractions designed for outsiders and the harsh reality of life during the day; I also sense the tranquility of bedroom community and lurking violence during the night. The city is filled with unleashed wild dogs and cats, struggling for survival day and night, whereas in people’s houses I also see dogs and cats are the most common pets. The cat-dog ecology forms a polarized portrait of Cuba’s new now. Within the short period of time that I stayed in Cuba, mainly Havana, I never really see but only look.