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Indepth Arts News:

"Viewpoints: Chinese Photography Today"
2005-01-12 until 2005-01-19
Chambers Fine Art
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of Viewpoints: Chinese Photography Today on January 13, 2005. This exhibition highlights the work of six artists – Chi Peng, He Yunchang, Hong Lei, Song Dong, Weng Fen and Zhang Huan – who use the camera not to document the tremendous changes taking place in China today but rather to record scenes of their own devising.

Only in the work of Weng Fen, represented in the exhibition by two works of 2002, Bird's Eye View: Shenzhen and Bird's Eye View: Haikou , is there a glimpse of the overwhelming scale of urban developments in China today. The focus of his photographs, however, is always on the human relationship between enigmatic figures, generally teen-age girls, who gaze into the distance. In contrast, Hong Lei and Chi Peng have little or no interest in the outside world. For them, the camera is the most effective way to create highly realistic images of events from the past or reveries on life today. Continuing his extended commentary on traditional imagery of Song Dynasty painting, Hong Lei uses himself as a most improbable looking model in Sakyamuni – After the song Dynasty “Sakyamuni Coming Out of the Mountains” by Liang Kai, 1998 . Chi Peng looks into the mirror with his camera in the series of photographs titled Consubstantiality , and creates haunting dialogues between sexually ambiguous figures that yearn to comprehend each other.

The exhibition also includes photographs of staged events that did occur but were seen by only a very small audience as in the case of Zhang Huan's Seeds of Hamburg , 2002, He Yunchang's Shooter , 2001 and Song Dong's Stamping the Water , 1996. The latter has now become one of the most celebrated images of Chinese photography in the 1990s. In Seeds of Hamburg , Zhang Huan who was naked and covered in bird seed, entered a cage into which twenty-eight doves were released. The performance which is captured in a striking series of twelve photographs, comes to a conclusion as the artist leaves the cage cradling a dove in his arms.

While Between Past and Future – New Photography and Video from China travels the country to great acclaim, the current exhibition provides a welcome opportunity to focus on the connections between the work of six artists of different generations to whom the camera is primarily a means to capture dreams and to document performances, many of which have achieved an almost mythological status in a short period of time.


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