Leaky Logic and a Fugitive Fish is a collaborative exhibition project by Ke Peng and Justine Chang. The show consists of photographs, video, and text— created independently, then sequenced together as seamless sentences, flowing between their two voices. The work is made between China and the U.S.A., looking at the particularities of urban expansion and immigrant life with a playful eye. Together, the series provides glimpses into exterior worlds that would otherwise go unseen, redefining what is foreign and familiar.
The title refers to the quick temporal nature of memory, resembling a darting fish in a bowl of water. It also hints at the tension between playfulness and the hardening of experience, which teaches us that some situations are complex, difficult, and inescapable.
For the series, Ke turns to the first place she had been in the world: Hunan, a southern province of China, where everything seems suspended and eternal. She also turns to the place she grew up, Shenzhen, a city as young as her, where everything is marked by perpetual movement and rapid change. The population of Shenzhen increased from 30,000 to 15,000,000 in the span of thirty years, and this made her curious and aware of the relation between spatial limitations and the sudden expansion of the city. Ke looks into both the new and the old in modern China by photographing between these two places. She is particularly interested in how human experiences are distinct, yet connected.
Meanwhile, Justine photographs along the East Coast, isolating small details that rupture the constraints of the suburban immigrant home. She preserves a sense of play in the midst of loss — as in the face of frequent moves, or a winter flood, where the burst of thawing pipes drenched everything she owned.
To her, play means getting lost in the arrangement of common objects for the lens. It is her way of holding onto the things that she knows will slip away. She is invested in the energy created by the collaborative curating process, and how it is a way of being connected and understood.