RECOVERING THE WET
Yang Wen-Ching WET PLATE Photo Exhibition
On View: Saturday, September 17 – Sunday, October 16, 2011
Opening Reception: Sat, September 17 at 2:30 pm
Artist Talk: Sat, September 17 at 3:00 pm
Speech by：Xiao, Yong-Sheng / Dr. Edward Chiu / Yang Wen-Ching
Wet plate collodion process, commonly known as glass film photography, was originated in 1851 by Fredrick Scott Archer (1813–1857), an Englishman who applied collodium to photography. In terms of cost, clarity and stability, the images produced by the wet plate method were superior to the daguerreotype or the calotype, which helped the wet plate technique become mainstream. From the process of producing the film base (light-sensitive layer) to shooting to developing, fixing and washing, all procedures must be done when the glass plate is wet, hence the name.
Strictly speaking, the works for this exhibition represent my first experience in wet plate collodion photography. They are images of still life, namely abandoned objects from our daily life. The characteristics of wet plate photography seem to have given them new vitality. No two wet plate photos are the same, as the coating of the light-sensitive layer, the temperature and processing vary from shot to shot. The unpredictability of the results of this type of photography is the biggest challenge, and also what makes it fascinating. In today’s digital world, this “craft” just might inspire a different way of thinking about images.