“Looking back on my life, it has been full of incidents. Things seem to happen by chance. Some are good, some are bad, some are significant, some are insignificant. Nevertheless, I often ask myself “what if”. In the end, I realized that I have only formed an individual hypothesis. Reality is not determined solely by our impulses, nor are our impulses determined solely by the bio-electrical reactions in our brains. In fact, “what if?” is a larger-than-life question.
Here comes the book which asks the question of “What if”. The question opens a line of inquiry – whether the stubbornest present is pliant, whether the darkest moments in the history can shine a light. Only if we, collectively, are willing to ask, “What if”.”
This artist book “What If” by Hai Zhang is his personal document of rural communities in Georgia and Alabama which he continues to visit after living there more than 20 years ago. The 44-page book, printed in Spain with a limited edition of 600, is published by the artist in collaboration with Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery
Zhang states, “There is always more to the photograph than what is depicted within the image, more questions than answers. […] Rather than a compilation of documentation, the book looked beyond and dissembled individual images. In the end, it reassembled a montage to seek a question to ask.”