Liu Yuyang’s series “The Newer New Frontier” aims to explore how policies impact a region on ancient Silk Road and its local residents and, and discuss if it's possible to solve a tense social problem with an economical way.
“LOVE, Ren Hang”
Venue: Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP)
Dates: 06.03.2019 - 26.05.2019
“LOVE, Ren Hang”, the first ever institutional exhibition in France of the work of the photographer Ren Hang, honours the memory of one of the most influential Chinese artists of his generation, who died tragically at the age of 29.
Ren Hang’s work has been exhibited in many galleries around the world and regularly published in fashion magazines including Purple and Numero. After his suicide in 2017, he left behind a wide-ranging body of work that is presented in the exhibition “LOVE, REN HANG”, which deals with all aspects of his artistic practice, from photography to books and self-published texts. Presented for the first time in a French institution - in Paris, a city he loved - 150 photographs selected by the MEP from European and Chinese collections allow us to assess the scope of his outstanding corpus.
Ren Hang’s audacious work explores the relationship between identity and sexuality, and because it was produced in China, its subversive tone had an all the more destabilising effect. His work, which has often been censored or deemed pornographic by the Chinese authorities - even though Ren Hang often stated that it did not set out to challenge the political establishment - remains, with respect to a repressive context, the expression of a yearning for creative freedom, freshness and impulsiveness. His unique vision is clearly influenced by “cynical realism”, a Chinese artistic movement rooted in the events that took place in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Ren Hang’s instantly recognisable work is mainly composed of portraits and landscapes often within the naked bodies of his male and female models. He worked with people close to him - his friends and his mother - and with young Chinese people he reached out to online. He produced his emblematic images in the confined space of his apartment or in the outdoor spaces of the city. Although his photographs appear staged, they are the result of a spontaneous and instinctive process, and their candidness imbues them with poetry and humour.
The exhibition occupies the second-floor gallery of the MEP. The layout does not present the artist’s work series by series, but instead places the different facets of his work side by side, as he did during his lifetime. Adopting a partly chromatic matic approach, it takes the visitor through the artist’s worlds: in one area red predominates, while elswhere other acid colours prevail; one room is devoted to his mother, while another, darker space presents his night photography. The last room features a selection of more “daring” works focusing on the body, creating a powerful, organic connection between eroticism and nature.
The show is also a chance to discover a less well-known facet of Ren Hang’s art, namely the editorial and poetic works that he produced in parallel with his photography. He posted his poems on a regularly updated website (now defunct); most of them are presented in this exhibition. They are chiefly meditations on his struggle with depression. “If life is a bottomless chasm, when I jump the endless fall will also be a way of flying”, he wrote.
There is a strong connection between the works of Ren Hang and those of Coco Capitán, who felt a powerful kinship with the Chinese artist. Although they never met, they wrote to one another. The fact that their work is being presented simultaneously at the MEP is thus no mere coincidence: together they provide an alternative view of the intersecting trajectories of fashion, performance, text, and highly original approaches to the photographic image.
“The Bliss of Conformity”
Venue: Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP)
Dates: 20.04.2019 - 26.05.2019
True to its commitment to showcase international emerging talents, the MEP presents “The Bliss of Conformity”, a series by the Chinese artist Yingguang Guo combining photography, video, installation and book.
Yingguang Guo first came to public attention in 2017 when she was awarded the Prix Madame Figaro Chine – Jimei Arles for this very series. This is her first exhibition in an institutional setting in Paris.
Yingguang Guo focuses on contemporary China, here specifically the experiences of young women who enter arranged marriages. The series exhibited at the MEP, “The Bliss of Conformity”, was taken in the People’s Park in Shanghai, where there is an area used as a marketplace by parents seeking spouses for their children, by posting ads in the hope of finding a suitable match.
Yingguang Guo explains that the question of marriage is a central feature of daily life in China. As a student at the London College of Communication, she began to take an interest in the “weight of conformity” that bears down on these young Chinese women. As she experienced European culture first hand, she began to reflect upon the value assigned to women in her own culture.
In addition to the exhibition in the Studio, there is a specially designed virtual exhibition on the MEP website. Its format offers a range of different angles of interpretation for “The Bliss of Conformity”. This online project is unveiled on the MEP’s website starting March 6, 2019.
Born in Liaoning, China, in 1983, Yingguang Guo studied first at the Communication University of China, then at the London College of Communication. She has collaborated with various media and press agencies such as China Daily and Reuters. Little by little, she moved away from a purely documentary process to turn towards a more inter-disciplinary style: photography with engraving, drawing, video, and performance.
More information: www.mep-fr.org
From Dusk Till Dawn
«Life here is different from anywhere else, and it’s really interesting, especially for foreigners like me who is working here. “From Dusk Till Dawn” portrays life in the most populous nation on Earth from the intimate perspective of an outsider looking in. From military drills and wigs displayed in salon windows to homeless men asleep on park benches, the series captures fleeting moments of everyday life.»
Language: Ukrainian, English, Chinese
Number of pages: 88
Parameters: 180 х 220 mm
Design: Olexandr Bychenko
ISBN series: 978-617-7482-00-9
Series title: Contemporary Ukrainian Photographers Series
Rodovid Press Publishing
«The second hour of our journey at this train. Ahead are another 16 or 17 hours, I dоn’t remember. Behind us someone has already opened a bottle of Chinese stinky vodka, from which it becomes bad even from the smell, someone is going to pour boiling water to make some noodles. Someone plays a movie that it sounds on the whole car, and someone eats seeds so loudly, that it is simply impossible to hear your own thoughts. In addition, around you can hear a million of dialogs, and you can hear them, because everyone is screaming. At such times, you feel happy that you don’t know Chinese language, because you could go crazy.
We do not have a bed here, so we had to take sitting places. Yes, it’s uncomfortable for us, it’s completely inconvenient to sleep, because the back of the chair is not tilted back, but on you. Legs have to be put on your suitcase, that the knees in this position support the chin. Hot. Very hot. There are twice as many people in the car as it is supposed to be. But this is nothing, many people in this and the nearest wagons do not even have such luxury, they go without seats. The most interesting thing is that the price of a ticket with a seat and without it is the same. Why does the government, knowing that because of such a large amount of people, they are still willing to take a ticket without a seat and go 10, 20, 30 hours sitting in the car vestibule or standing, leaning their head on the window and trying to sleep, do not reduce the cost of this kind of ticket? This fact remains unknown.
I take my action camera and go for a walk on the train. Going through a huge number of people, I try to take pictures. Here is the woman sitting right in the aisle, putting her head on her knees, that people have to step over her. And here is the child who was put under the seat, so that he could fall asleep. In the car vestibule there are about 15 people – somebody is standing, somebody is sitting on the suitcase, and some of them climbed onto the sink near the toilet and is sleeping on it. Everyone smokes, smokes a lot. I’m taking pictures. Only just when I got into the train, I already knew that it would be a new series of photos, a series about these people.
Who are they all and where are they going at such a price? Why don’t they wait for the opportunity to purchase a ticket with a seat and go with comfort? Only God knows. Here such they are – ‘passengers’.»
Language: Ukrainian, English
Bonus – video (in description)
More information: melnitchenko.com
Deeply rooted in the humanistic approach to photography, Peng Xiangjie’s “Wandering Tent” captures the daily lives of circus troupes in contemporary China.
We have recently invited the New York based photographer Mia Song to take over Photography of China's Instagram account to share her last project “Waiting for the summer”. This series was shot with a large format camera 4x5 in Long Island beach. Discover her works below.
This exhibition brings together 120 selected works by the leading figures in nineteenth-century photography in China, including the first visiting photographers and the earliest Chinese masters. Each photograph shown here is a pinnacle of the photographic art, a masterpiece worthy of study. Photographic art transports us through time and distance with an immediacy transcending the written word. It allows us to visit the people, places, and events of the past and offers a precise view of otherwise inaccessible people and places. This exhibition of original photographic art created in China captures the architecture of its historic cities, the monuments of revered ancestors, the faces of China's diverse peoples, and the legendary beauty of China, from its rivers to its mountains, from the Great Wall to the Forbidden City.
Exhibition Period: 27 November, 2018 – 31 March, 2019
Exhibition Venue: 3st Floor Exhibition Hall, Tsinghua University Art Museum
Liu Shuwei 刘树伟 was born in 1985 Tangshan and currently lives in Shanghai, China. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Guangdong University of Technology in 2009, then he decided to do what he really love such as photography, design and writing. He's a finalist of LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016, a finalist His works got exhibited internationally include Power Station of Art, the State Hermitage Museum, Artefiera Bologna, JIMEI × ARLES Photo Festival Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Vu Photo.
Above is a selection of several series, which he introduces as follows:
2016, photography and video
A series I started out of my fear of losing sight. I though blue would be the last color I could see, like when Derek Jarman discovered “Blue is darkness made visible.”
“Friendship and the pink triangle”
2017, photography and collages
My fear came true, what the works experienced has became part of itself in 2018.
2017, photography and collages
It’s about the way we meet, the way we rebel, the way we treat the same and the different.
One of the first projects, back in 2012. I guess my works are all about distances from the world. This one is about distance in time.
“Into the Blue”
This is another part of Blue trilogy. As Rebecca Solnit wrote: "Blue is the color of longing for the distance you never arrive in, for the blue world. The blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see from miles, the blue of distance. This light that doesn’t touch us, doesn’t not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost."
More information: liushuwei.com
This exhibition introduces one of Wang Tingting 王亭亭 latest series called "Contenants du Passé [Containers of the past]. Wang has examined mundane everyday objects from the past that are bound to us by ties of singular intimacy. « The everyday life of the past forges our personal identities, and the ordinary objects are the materialized clues, » she explains. Wang has been collecting over the years old tableware that belonged to her own family members. By reviving these objects and playing around with them in her colourful still lives, she has freed them from the strict frameworks of personal memories, turning them into components of a new space-time dimension.
Wang Tingting 王亭亭 is an pluridisciplinary artist who has been rethinking the medium by creating works that appear at the junction of photography, drawing, and graphic design. In 2013 she received the Picto award for Young fashion photography (Prix Picto de la Jeune Photographie de Mode) for her series “Illusion”.
Contenants du Passé
From 31 January to 23 February
14 rue des Jardins Saint Paul, 75004 Paris
-- Written by Ma Te
I call my Photography an “ Emotional Documentary”. Walking under so many faces. Where ever I look there is this noise of Emotions. Don’t judge bad or good, I just collect them like raindrops on my skin. They all vibrate in whispers of feelings. I try to close my eyes, they stay and ask me to give them a shape....a name. Past and present those Pictures are time travelers. China is in a War of Times. I apologize for my selfishness and steal a part of you but I’m afraid of death so I preserve everything that touches me into a photograph. Youth is long like a smile. What comes after I can not care and I don’t need for now. What I need is a move of my Finger so I can capture you and hold you. No need to remember, No fear to forget I can always hold you...
Ma Te 马塔 was born in 1995 in Xi’an, China. She is a self-taught photographer who lives and works in Xi’an. Ma Te has already published several artist books, collaborated with magazines, and sold limited edition prints of her works.
More information: Ma Te’s Instagram