Wenkai Wang

Day for Night

Cuba, Havana
2019

“Day for night” is a cinema term that refers to shooting night scene during day time in order to save budget and have more controls over lights. At the core of its concept lays the human desire to dominate and recreate natural phenomenon that illudes others to believe what is shown. This is how I feel about Cuba, too. The magical realism embedded in Cuba’s convoluted history makes an outsider, like me, constantly question what is the truth of everything that I have experienced so far here. The more time I spend here, the more people I talked to, the more polarized I feel about the Cuban reality, where everything seems to work in a binary system, self-conflicting but special in its own way. With two different currencies and price systems, where one is for the locals and the other for tourists; with two different jobs, one for fixed salary and the other part-time; with two views people hold toward their countries, where the optimist stays for a better future and the pessimist leaves for a better future as well. I witness the fabricated city attractions designed for outsiders and the harsh reality of life during the day; I also sense the tranquility of bedroom community and lurking violence during the night. Within the short period of time that I stayed in Havana, I never really see but only look.

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WELCOME TO THE DESERT OF REALITY WELCOME TO THE DESERT OF REALITY WELCOME TO THE DESERT OF REALITY
WELCOME TO THE DESERT OF REALITY WELCOME TO THE DESERT OF REALITY WELCOME TO THE DESERT OF REALITY