Luna Lin asks visitors to her photo exhibition in Libros Duluoz to test their boundaries and explore. The exhibition titled “Foto Conquistos en Vuelos de Papel” (Photo Conquests on Paper Planes) shows photos from her travels superimposed on to the pages of a French copy of the book “1492.” Naturally the book is about Christopher Columbus and conquering the New World, as well as the quest to push the limits of the known world.
Like many travelers, Lin learned about foreign lands – both fictional and real – in books she read growing up. Her camera lens became a way for her to conquer those lands and experience an outside world first introduced to her through literature. In the exhibit, paper planes – made from the pages of “1492” and with a cutout of Lin’s head pasted to the top of each aircraft – are strung up across the center of the indie bookstore in downtown San José. The planes lead to the 100 images mounted on the walls of Libros Duluoz.
Some photos show silhouettes of animals while others capture bustling metropolises. Lin also clipped out words from “1492” and chained them together to describe the exhilaration that comes from travel (and reading, too). Photos were not limited to major cultural sites like New York and China, but also she included images from Costa Rica. Explore anywhere and everywhere, Lin said.
She spoke with The Tico Times about her first solo exhibition. Excerpts follow:
On why she chose a book about Christopher Columbus to print her images:
The book that I had is in French and called “1492,” obviously the year implies discovery, travels. It talks about the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the conquest, and it’s more pronounced.
I didn’t conquer places, I conquered mostly pictures. Through the lens, I am able to steal situations, moments, places, time, etc. The book more than anything is discovery and adventure and what one experiences through travels.
On how “1492” helped support her project:
I chose the book because I owned it and the texture of the pages is exquisite, and with aging, it has a very pretty color. It gives ideal support for photos and for hanging them on the wall without having to resort to more expensive frames or materials, and it is a book that allows me to use all recycled materials.
On how she chose the photos in the exhibition:
Most of the photos are from recent trips. … There is one from six years ago, only one from a trip to China. I believe some people mistake it with photos from Chinatown [in San José]. … There are photos of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, also there are photos from Costa Rica. Here is the INS building with the barbed wire, … they are not only photos of foreign lands.
On the exhibition’s message to visitors:
How wonderful it is to travel, what one learns and discovers, that’s what I enjoy. There are certain things that one wants that you cannot buy. My form of taking them is with a photograph.
“Foto Conquista en Vuelos de Papel” runs through Sept. 18 at Libros Dulouz in Barrio Amón (Avenida 7, Calles 3 and 5). For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/libros.duluoz.