October 7, 2023
Peeking out from rocky gorges, flowing through a thin crack in the terrain, and elegantly sweeping upward among layers of stone, Reuben Wu’s drone paths conjure the uncanny. The Chicago-based photographer (previously) has been working with light painting for about a decade, transforming nighttime scenes into strange, otherworldly vistas. His latest project, The Inner Landscape, continues this tradition as it positions small, orb-like geometries among craggy formations.
Commissioned by Apple and captured on an iPhone, the series departs from Wu’s earlier projects like Lux Noctis in that the photos frame smaller spaces. He writes on Instagram:
Many of the landforms I illuminated were very far away and massive. In a way, I was pushing the drone to fly as far as it could to create this seemingly impossible epic night scene…The Inner Landscape feels much more intimate, where I am closer, or in the midst of the subject matter. The scene feels almost like part of my own mind.
The juxtaposition of darkness and artificial lighting “intensifies this mood of unreality,” he says, and similarly contrasts the quiet intimacy of the spaces with the unfamiliarity of the compositions.
Find an extensive archive of Wu’s works on his site.
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You’ll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!