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Review: Water Ways/Walsh Gallery

Photography, West Loop Add comments

Song Dong, "Stamping the Water," 1996


One of the essential elements of life and a universal symbol, water takes on a multitude of meanings, as the three photo-artists—two Chinese and one from India—demonstrate exquisitely in this thought-provoking show. Attracted by water’s purifying and healing powers, Song Dong transcended his grief over his father’s death by making a large stamp of the Chinese character for water and then plunging into a Tibetan lake with it, shooting color performance photos of himself impressing the stamp on the water in a devotional exercise filled with thrashing and splashing. Not to be outdone, Wang Wei snapped himself in color with his head immersed in a large glass bowl as he contorted his face in the gruesome expressions of a drowning man. In a reminder of from whence we came and still remain, Reena Kallat shows us twenty-five different women elegantly knitting the blood-red letters of the sentence, “OUR BODIES ARE MOLDED RIVERS.” (Michael Weinstein)

Through November 24 at Walsh Gallery, 118 North Peoria.

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