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Photo Essay: ‘As Innerly As Possible’

In conversation with solitude.

By Wah-Ming Chang

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.