30219. The number of days represented by the hyphen between the two dates 1927.12.03 and 2010.08.27 on Li Lang’s father’s tombstone.
Faced with the imminent death of his father, Li Lang photographed his father in a strikingly plain, almost clinical style. Frontal portrait, profile shot, torso from the front, torso from behind; dentures placed before a white background. A heap of hair – the last hair off his father’s head. Personal belongings: a necktie, a hat, a watch; a giant three-page foldout of the father’s couch. Finally: handprints, footprints, and then dust (or rather, clay collected from the father’s hometown).
Li Lang’s series – an attempt to fight against the meaningless hyphen – is as fascinating as it is touching.
“I would say the life father had led was very ordinarily. He was a person who could be neglected entirely in the world. His death was as normal as any other, one which people would forget soon. Nevertheless, I have been attempting to resist this sort of oblivion in my own way for a long time, fighting against the flow of time that weakens my memories and love.”
— from the artist’s statement