We are ‘Free’

Quinn Lum and Ernest Wu

Photography is often pursued individually. We are ‘free’ challenges the notion that photography cannot be done collaboratively. Through the use of images and daily dialogue, the artists respond to each other, reflecting on the relationships between man and systems.


Black Boxes

Black Boxes (2016)
Archival Inkjet Print on Ilford Galerie Smooth Cotton Rag
100 by 150cm
Edition of 3 + 2AP

It towers above. 9, 10, 24 stories up. It is not land that touches the sky; it is concrete that cuts the horizon. It is lives stacked, one on top of the other, row after row after row. And all I see are black boxes. Black on white on black.

Black Boxes-4
Black Boxes-3
Black Boxes-2
Black Boxes-1


Onward (2015)
Archival Inkjet Print on watercolour paper
29.7 by 42 cm
Edition of 3

It is dusk. In my mind, a humdrum of ideas. I cannot see its end. The landscape has always been a treadmill and I, in the train cabin, have always been unmoving. Unchanging. I am here. I am here. A lamp post goes by. A building. A tree. I think about change. The landscape changes. There used to be a hill. It used to be a field. There used to be forest. Now it is a HDB. Now it is a condominium. I think about paintings. Brush strokes. Thin lines. Thick lines. Broad sweeping strokes. Careful line accents. Harsh harsh. I think about light. The lights turn on. They turn off. Change, light, paint. Can I paint with my camera? I am unmoving. I am here. The landscape is a treadmill. The landscape paints itself. Click. The train drags my camera. The landscape wants to be painted. The shutter closes. Barely a whisper. No one notices. Click. The landscape drags itself past. Present. Past. It is. And then no more. Nothing stays for too long. The landscape is there. Not quite. It is painted. Not quite. The landscape has changed. The landscape changes. The landscape will change.