All photographs by Wah-Ming Chang

Photo Essay: ‘As Innerly As Possible’

In conversation with solitude.

By Wah-Ming Chang
January 9, 2013 | , , , , , ,

Drunken Boat, an international online journal of the arts, is pleased to present Issue #16, an omnibus of folios that includes a special collaboration with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Open City. This piece appeared in the folio on Asian American Urbanisms. Click here to read the issue in its entirety.

Fernando Pessoa had advised that a rule of life should be to think, “as innerly as possible,” of oneself as a force. My innerly voice, which contains the histories of my ecstasies and wonders, has been unfolding itself, first in fiction and now in photography, in both color and black and white, through peripatetic intersections between man, ghost, and the geometric city. For words to accumulate on the page, a narrative intention must be in place. Conversely, for a photograph to occur, the narrative is in the picture-taking itself, in the act of concentrating time. In this way I meet with Pessoa daily, though never at the same time of day, for a walk around the block.


Wah-Ming Chang has received fellowships for fiction from the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the Bronx Writers Center, the Urban Artist Initiative, and twice from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her fiction has appeared in Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture and Mississippi Review, and her nonfiction and photography in Words without Borders and Open City. The writing began in 1986; the photography, 2009. She is currently working on a photo essay about the essence of the dance rehearsal, and on a novel about the essence of ghosts.

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Posted in , Marginalia, Open City - Drunken Boat Issue #16, Stories

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