m97 Gallery Shanghai is pleased to invite you to the opening of “SIMPLE SONG”, an exhibition of collodion wet plate photography works by Chengdu-based photographer LUO DAN. For his “Simple Song” project, Luo Dan employed the traditional collodion wet plate photographic process invented in 1850, spending several months traveling with a portable darkroom in remote and mountainous regions of China’s southern Yunnan Province. Looking to capture the purity of this photographic process, Luo Dan was able to reflect the authenticity found in rural life for many of China’s yet undeveloped regions, where the way of life has remained largely intact for hundreds of years. Many of the villages in this region were settled by Christian missionaries 100 years ago, where the local villagers are people of faith and devout churchgoers dressing up in their ethnic garments, or Sunday’s best. By bringing a reverence to both this photographic process and subject matter, Luo Dan’s “Simple Song” series is an effort to capture a sense of timelessness. An incredibly popular process in the mid-nineteenth century, wet plate collodion could render exquisite detail for photographers, but the laborious process of exposure and development also led to its decline towards the end of the century.