In “Traces I”, the Malaysian born Chinese photographer Ian Teh photographed the coal industry in China and its impact on the western hinterlands of the country.
“The Post-War Dream: A visual journey into the Anthropocene”
In the late summer of 2016, I spent six weeks in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, making photos to document the transformation process of the most important cities in the region: Ordos, Hohhot, and Baotou. Surprisingly, these images recalled me the post second world war Italian film season that wished to raise awareness on the booming developments surrounding the historic cities of Italy.
The shocking similarity between images made over 50 years away, testify to a dominant, globalized and normalized character of these settlement processes. There is a common denominator, which seems to cancel the geography and the temporal distance between the events told by my visual-journey. The gaze moves in silent and mysterious places that seem to push the viewer beyond the empirical evidence towards an almost dreamlike dimension. Or a "post dream" scenario.
During my journey in the Inner Mongolia region, I discovered that no matter the scale, the definition of habitat tends to be homologated. What I was experiencing, was the impact of the present geological era, the Anthropocene, where landscape, as well as earth system processes and dynamics, are altered by humans. The question posed by the project is if there is still space for another image of the city, beyond the apocalyptic dystopia laid ahead by the great metropolis of the twenty-first century.
It is no surprise the abrupt acceleration that urbanism has achieved at the beginning of the new millennium. The post-war urbanization responded to the need for real house policies in an increasingly industrial society that was huddled at the gates of ancient cities. What we observe in China, on the other hand, is a projection of needs not entirely expected, which foreshadow the construction of a priori housing complexes often empty. This is why the few people we see appear to us more like mannequins, or puppets of a show that got out of hand, victims like mythological shadows of a stage from whose destiny they are excluded.
My wish is to stimulate to an historical thinking, in order not to be dazzled in the future by the easy clamor of an inexistent present, and therefore to position our gaze in a critical perspective as when photography becomes a project.
Edition: 150 signed and numbered copies Extent: 104 pages, excluding cover
Texts: Marco Bertozzi, Elena Rapisardi, Chen Liu
Language: English and Mandarin
Size: 33 cm x 22 cm [13 inches x 8.7 inches]
Printing on Tatami white 150 gr
Finishing: Thread Sewn, Bodonian Binding Cover: Fedrigoni Materica 720 gr
Forthcoming: 5 November 2018
In collaboration with Steve Bisson of Urbanautica Institute (https://www.urbanauticainstitute.com/)
For more information: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-post-war-dream#/
In his newly published photobook “Approximate Joy”, Christopher Anderson considers the relationships between technology, happiness and humanity through a haunting series presenting the melancholic faces of Shenzhen’s city-dwellers. His works are currently exhibited at the Danziger Gallery (New York) until October 20, 2018. Guest article written by Alex Merola.
From October 17, 2018, to January 27, 2019 the Musée de l’Elysée — one of the world’s leading museums entirely dedicated to photography — juxtaposes the photographed performances of Liu Bolin and the images of Matthias Bruggmann.
Last month, PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai has cemented its position as Asia Pacific’s leading destination for collecting photography. Read its official report.
“Combing for Ice and Jade” is a love letter to Kurt Tong’s nanny, one of the few remaining self combed women in the world. Amongst the artist’s upcoming shows: “The Queen, The Chairman and I” at Lianzhou Museum of Photography (until 4th November) and at Rugby Gallery & Museum (until 27th October). The series “Combing for Ice and Jade” will be soon published by Jiazazhi Press.
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Zhang Kechun (born 1980 in Sichuan, China) is an artist currently based in Chengdu. This week, he is taking over Photography of China Instagram account and is posting some of his past and current works. His artworks will be shown at PHOTOFAIRS | Shanghai from 21-23 September 2018 at Shanghai Exhibition Center. Feel free to drop by!