“We are overwhelmed everyday by beautiful images of the familiar. I imagine these scenes transformed into undiscovered landscapes which renew our perceptions of our world.”
The mysterious landscapes shot by Reuben Wu bring to mind distant planets and bring out a real sense of curiosity to explore – these are in fact places we could all go visit. Inspired by planetary exploration, 19th century romantic painting and science fiction, he has transformed traditional landscapes into something that forces us to look twice and to consider our environment more.
His most recent project ‘Lux Noctis’ was shot completely in North America, using theatrical lighting in the darkness to cast these landscapes in a new light. His cinematic lighting, manually controlled, allowed him to reframe these landscapes, illuminating isolated features of the landscape and guiding our focus. He says himself that he was “interested in renewing how people see these landmarks”. Some were shot in the most iconic landscapes of North America, such as the Goosenecks, whilst for others he chose more obscure locations that allowed him more room to experiment.
Reuben originally started off in music, co-founding electronic band Ladytron, and his creative energy eventually crossed over into photography. His practice in both arts still overlaps, and he imagines how one medium could complement the other. “I see visuals as coming from the same vision that inspires music. Two sides to the same coin, separate but also intertwined.” When looking at his ‘Lux Noctis’ series one can certainly imagine some moody electronic undertones.
For Reuben his photographs are ‘portraits of the landscape,’ highlighting specific aspects, whilst the rest is hidden from us in the darkness. Landscape photography, which is usually defined by the natural beauty and lighting, takes on a whole new form.
What does he hope you take away from his work? “Don’t be afraid of the dark”.
I am a photographer, film-maker and music producer. I’m also co-founder of the band Ladytron.
In my visual work, I am driven not just by the urge to create imagery, but by a desire to explore new places as if they were unknown territory, constantly open to serendipity and with an eye for the unnoticed and the hidden.
Photographs, like music, can create an echo of a time and a place. To me, my images are more than pictures. They are fragments of memory and imagination.