North of the Empty Quarter
Vincent Zeng, 2013
These photographs form a study of edges, exploring the physical nature of a place and the philosophical delineations separating it from emptiness. They were taken near and within residential districts of urban Qatar, a region of rapid development where people eagerly inscribe boundaries to mark where the next set of dwellings should rise. The desert presses in from all sides, joining with the sky to form a heavy void that appears both disturbing and entrancing; along that junction, constructed neighborhoods attempt to flourish while preserving the barriers that give them comfort.
These photographs ask questions of that void, without expecting answers.
Technical notes: All images are scans of medium format Ilford film, shot with a Hasselblad between January and April 2013. Some rolls were developed on-site in an ad-hoc darkroom in the biology department of Carnegie Mellon University's Qatar campus, using a homemade coffee-based solution; the rest were processed with commercially available film chemistry in the Pittsburgh campus darkroom.
(hvincent at modgethancdotcom)