Sponges, eggs, coat hangers – it’s easy to gloss over an object’s aesthetic appeal when you see it every day. In her new series The Horizontal Mode of A Waking Life, New York-based photographer Jiaxi Yang aims to help us see the beauty in the mundane by removing household items from their normal habitat and re-contextualising their function.
Using her kitchen as a theatrical set, Jiaxi takes whatever’s at hand to form impromptu sculptures. Flipped vertical, a stove top becomes a wrought iron sculpture and cherry tomatoes form precious trophies on a staggered plinth. The aim is that the bizarre settings – eggs in a dishwasher tray for example – will help us focus on object’s materiality, say, a shell’s pleasing mottle rather than its relationship to hollandaise sauce. Jiaxi hopes that the meaning of each image will be unique to the individual. “The displaced, re-contextualised objects prompt the viewer to imaginatively reconstruct fictional narratives describing the owner’s life.” she says. With a adept command of tactility and a pleasing palette, never has the dull looked so good.