On first view, Lily Night’s book “Abscura” (an amalgam of the words “abstraction” and “camera obscura”) keeps its readers in the dark about its intentions. It is only after several pages that the photographs (offered with no explanation or indication of what they may depict) fall into place, and coherence emerges. Lily Night’s series was inspired by her Chinese parents’ first visit to her flat in Tokyo; by seeing her mother and father not as parents or family members but as individuals. Through highly unusual angles, senses and compositions, Night’s black and white photographs blend the figurative with the abstract and explore the intersection of personal experience with the collective unconscious, to interrogate chaos and complexity from a logical standpoint.
“Lily’s photography resembles light or sound. We perceive them unconsciously and forget them most of the time. ‘Abscura’ might seem to be a collage of everyday scenes. But from these bodies and their reactions to the passing of transient light or subtle sounds, she subconsciously excavates the fragments of lived phenomena that produce our memories, our very existence.”
― from Harumi Niwa’s afterword (included in Japanese and in English translation)