The Red Pictures


A series of prints handmade by Yan Wang Preston from the colour darkroom, from the negatives which were loaded back-to-front by mistake during the Mother River project. 

The Mother River project was a controlled experiment. In the end it broke out from its own shell by having to deal with the unpredictable. At Y15 and Y16, Yan could not find the predetermined locations and had to leave two blank pages in the final sequence. From Y39 to Y62, she made an even more severe mistake by unknowingly loading the films back-to-front for her large-format camera. She decided to reshoot by making two extra road trips. 

But she also decided to accept this failure by including it in the book and by sharing it with daring collectors. The mistake generated interesting pictures. Yan is now printing them by herself in a traditional colour darkroom.

They are printed on 12 by 16 inch Fuji Crystal Archive Matt paper, with an image area of 10 by 12.5 inch. 

Each image has an edition size of 3 plus 1 AP. As darkroom prints, each one is in fact unique. 

To extend the Mother River's concept, each image is offered as a blind buy. The collector can not choose which one to buy. They will be allocated with the image according to their position in the 'queue'. For example, the first 'wrong' picture buyer got Y39 --- the first Y Point that suffered from the mistake. The second buyer got Y40, and so on.

Once the first set from Y39 to Y62 are sold at the price of £240 each, we will start from Y39 again with No 2 print, at the price of £480 each. 

The pictures are by no means perfect by normal standards. Apart from the strange effect, they may also have scratches, uneven development masks, or other defects. But they are all treated with the utmost care by the artist.

To collect a 'wrong' print is to commit to the risks of the Y Points System embedded in the Mother River project. Unpredictable, unconventional, imperfect, but always interesting. 

By 11 Jan 2019, 11 prints (up to Y49) from the first set have been collected.