Desert dream

At Burning Man, Peikwen Cheng records realised fantasies

Since 2000, Chinese photographer Peikwen Cheng has been making an annual pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert, home to the Burning Man festival, which attracts 70,000 people to the week-long event at the end of August. “Leaving the twinkling lights of the city at midnight, I embark on a dislocating journey through the night that takes me to a remote place, deep in the desert, far from the constructs of home and real life,” he says. “It’s here, in the middle of a pre-historic lakebed ringed by mountains and covered in alkaline dust, that a community gathers together to imagine, build and share a waking dream.”

Desert Dream

Some of the black and white images that comprise Peikwen’s Lost and Found have been captured with film, the later ones with digital, but none has been digitally manipulated. They are presented as archival pigment prints. “It’s a place of public expression and private reflection, where I can reconnect with my inner child and rediscover the world with a sense of wonderment and realise that dreams, no matter how silly or seemingly impossible, can come true,” he says. “The images are spontaneous captures of people realising their dreams.”


Read the full version in The Northern Correspondent #7