La clairvoyance du hasard
Li Lang + Yuki Onodera

26.02.2022 – 22.05.2022

Curators: François Cheval and Yasmine Chemali

The third exhibition of the Mougins Center of Photography has been conceived through the prism of chance. Through it, we approach a relationship with the unexpected and with the tenuous quest for balance between mastery and letting go that is constantly challenged by photographers.

Who better than the Japanese photographer Yuki Onodera or the Chinese photographer Li Lang to plunge us into a work in progress?

In the time of Pliny the Elder, the idea of chance was already associated with the act of creation. In his work, Li Lang (born in 1969, Chengdu) let chance enter the field of the making and let it provoke the action through a suite of questions that are a priori irrelevant. Li Lang captures one image per minute as he travels in a high-speed train for 4600 kilometers. His journey is accompanied by personal questions asked to fifty volunteers. Is Li Lang the author of an algorithm or the victim of chance?

Fortuitous chance. Lucky/Happy chance. Well-thought chances. Yuki Onodera creates a precise framing to offer a tangible reality that has nothing real about it. In her series “Darkside of the Moon”, she invites the viewer (or imposes to the viewer?) anew temporality, fluid territories, that of a square. The square is by essence the only figure that is not present in Nature; it is contrary to the order of things and a manifestation of Man’s suprematism over Nature.

Both Li Lang and Yuki Onodera remind us, with each gesture and each print, of our relationship to the world. They remind us that “we have modern tools to see everything in the world, to apprehend everything, but [qu’] in fact we see nothing”. (Sophie Riestelhueber in her commentary on Marcel Duchamp’s and Man Ray’s “Dust Breeding”)

A Long Day of A Certain Year
Li Lang

Born in Chengdu in China’s Sichuan province in 1969, Li Lang began his career as a photographer in 1990. He currently lives and works in Chengdu.
Through his images, Lang has often explored humanity and desires. Photography serves as a trigger for the awakening of a long-suppressed self.
Lang captures real life events with calmness and precision. He draws inspiration from and includes in his work the life experience of others, with the aim of obtaining more diversified existential experience of ourselves, of others and of life. Lang creates an intangible relationship between people and photography, and makes us think about the relationship between modernity and photography.
Lang has won The Punctum Award at Lianzhou Foto Festival (China, 2019) and the Special Jury Prize (Lianzhou, China, 2015). In 1998, he recieved the top prize of Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography Awards and “The Mother Jones Medal of Excellence” (1998). His works have been collected by many institutions including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (USA), Shanghai Art Museum (China), the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (Spain), Guangdong Museum of Art (China), LUXELAKES- A4 Art Museum (Chengdu, China), White Rabbit Gallery (Sydney, Australia).
The exhibition at the Mougins Center of Photography is his first show in France.

©Li Lang, A Long Day of A Certain Year, A0317, 2018
©Li Lang, A Long Day of A Certain Year, B0634, 2018
©Li Lang, A Long Day of A Certain Year, B0903, 2018
©Li Lang, A Long Day of A Certain Year, A0104, 2018
Darkside of the Moon
Yuki Onodera
Born in Tokyo in 1962, Yuki Onodera sets up her studio in Paris in 1993 and has since then exhibited her work around the world. She asks herself what photography is and what photography can do. This reflection leads her to an unusual practice that ultimately goes beyond “simple” photography: she inserts a marble in the camera, or travels to the other side of the Earth to take photos based on a story constructed from a news item or a legend.
Acknowledged for her original and hand-made work (manual prints on large silver paper, drip painting on black and white prints), her works are present in numerous collections and museums throughout the world (Centre Pompidou, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Shanghai Art Museum, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, etc).
Her main monographic exhibitions took place at the National Museum of Art in Osaka (2005), the Shanghai Art Museum (2006), the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (2010, “Yuki Onodera: Into the Labyrinth of Photography”), the Seoul Museum of Photography (2010) and the Musée Nicéphore Niépce of Chalon-sur-Saône (2011, “Yuki Onodera, La photographie en apesanteur”). She also received the Iheï Kimura Prize (2003, Japan) and the Niépce Prize (2006, France).

Yuki Onodera
“Darkside of the Moon” No.3
gelatin silver prints, drip painting, collage on canvas
Triptych 130 x 390 cm
©Yuki Onodera

Yuki Onodera
“Darkside of the Moon” No.5
gelatin silver prints, drip painting, collage on canvas
Triptych 140 x 420 cm
©Yuki Onodera
Yuki Onodera
“Twin Birds” R006
gelatin silver prints
31 x 24 cm
©Yuki Onodera

Cahiers #3

La clairvoyance du hasard

François Cheval, András Páldi, Jean Daunizeau, Takayo Iida, Yasmine Chemali, Li Lang and Yuki Onodera.

176 pages
Isbn : 979-10-90698-52-9

Cahiers is a new print journal – independent and quartely.
It positions itself at the intersection of luxury photo book, exhibition catalogue of limited longevity, and book for the general public. Cahiers is simple and spare, a cross between a novel and the reproduction of a probing image.

On sale at the Centre’s shop of photography.