In her series Playing Cards, Hong Kong-based photographer Ann Woo used playing cards to explore the relationship between truth and imagination. “I utilize a basic motive in the composition of playing cards – concealing information – to illustrate the impossibility of seeking meaning in photographs. By photographing only the backsides of the cards, I focus on the nuances of the card patterns.
“Popular legends have it that designs of playing cards have religious, astrological or metaphysical significance, while others claim these interpretations are jokes made to conceal the true intention of gambling. In the most straightforward way, these images of playing cards hint that the attempt to interpret meaning in photographs is also a joke.” She adds, “We can never ’see’ the other side of the playing card in a photograph. Therefore the photographs have exaggerated the impossibility of seeing or knowing beyond what is visible in pictures.”
Feature Shoot Contributing Editor Carolyn Rauch is the Director of Photography at Newsweek.