‘In the cycle of life, one goes back to where one came from, all souls return to their creator.’
2009 marked the fifth year since the start of Muge’s ‘Going Home’ project, in which practical reasons made it impossible for him to deal with the silences of the locals for any longer. Muge then returned to his hometown to reflect on how to continue his work, discovering through the slowness of the view camera that the faces and expressions in people’s eyes are full of contradictory facets of both hope and helplessness.
In May 2010, the author’s daughter was born, radically changing his perception of life: Muge begins to explore the world with childlike eyes.
Using the view camera to re-understand his hometown, the author discovers that all things in the real world stem from our own internal desire: the karmic cycle of aspire to nature, destroy nature, repair nature.
Muge then immerses himself in nature to search for the three immutable elements of Chinese philosophy – mountain, water, stone -, to observe the traces of time and history, and to return nature to its essence: solemn, respectful and mysterious.
‘I had formerly felt resentful of the world and viewed everything in the worst light. Now I like to look at things and objects as they are – in this simple world in which we live’.
‘Ash’ is divided into three parts – ‘Still Life’, ‘Shan Shui’ and ‘Scenery’ – which in the book’s design form a stairway, resting on symbolism that creates a connection of a philosophical nature between the different sections.