NEONLAND URBAN OVERLOAD
“In this project, I wanted to leave my comfort zone and experiment with the contrasting environments of Scandinavian nature and Hong Kong city. To explore two different environments on different sides of the globe, and blend them into a fictional and surreal world; a man-made “Neonscape”. Only by documenting my journey and presenting it in another time frame would make sense to convey my surrealistic vision.
Before traveling to Hong Kong I wanted to study the commercial content of the neon signs. Afterward, the notion of this idea was troubling to me, as what the signs say about us is scary. The desire to look past the meaning presents a dilemma in itself. This is what we tend to do, we ignore the consequences of our lifestyle and our actions by simply moving our gaze focusing on something else. We present a prettier truth because it is convenient for us."
All images are multiple exposed in-camera rather than blended in external software such as Photoshop. This has been Relander’s choice of technique (for almost 10 years now), mainly because the limitations make his process faster and more enjoyable to work with.
The video Neonland was made as a collaboration between photographer Johan Ljungqvist (filming and editing) and Christoffer Relander (art director). Music by Daniel Kouvo and sound by Jesper Söderström.
"Just like the neon signs are disappearing in Hong Kong, our time is constantly growing shorter with our planet in crisis. But the images are also calm, like liquid air, or time floating, like the gas inside the neon signs pouring out of its glass tubes as a solitary wanderer travels on foot on his snowy path". -Curator Pamela Andersson
"The images are a vivid cocktail of untouched winter wonderland and human-made colour and shape, with a content unrecognizable to a western viewer. At the same time, the calm night of the winter forest feels truly familiar. In a sense, we are confronted with a conflict between familiar and unknown." -Curator Pamela Andersson
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