Wang Qiuhang at the Rencontres d'Arles
We were proud to project an exclusive slideshow entitled "Wang Qiuhang: Chinese Cultural Revolution (Self)Portrait 1966-1976." The video was first showcased on 6 July 2018 at the Papeteries Étienne (screen 1) and throughout the Rencontres d'Arles festival 2018. It introduces a collection of portraits depicting the Chinese photographer Wang Qiuhang taken by himself and his friends during the decade of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Raised in Hangzhou in a family of high-ranking officials, Wang underwent countless difficulties throughout his life because his father was accused of being a “traitor of the Party”, sent to a labor camp and forced to kill himself. On account of his “bad family background,” Wang was denied jobs and, for years as a result, the opportunity to find a wife. Hence he explains “After having gone through total despair, I discovered another kind of love: the love of oneself.”
Foam Magazine: essay on He Bo
The authoritative Foam Magazine - an international photography magazine published three times a year by Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam - commissioned us to write an essay about the Chinese artist He Bo and his photographic series "The Extending Punctums". Created between 2013 and 2015, the series consists of 11 triptychs, blending an archival approach with an artistic sensibility to reveal the conflation of image and text.
This issue #51 of Foam Magazine is themed around the Myth, a subject that has been important in the visual arts as long as we know. The seer is a visionary, creating ways of understanding or framing things that at first appear otherworldly, impossible or irrational. Their interpretations enter our systems of belief and understanding. Who is the author: the seer who creates the stories or the believer who adopts and acts upon them? The photographer has the ability to transform and create connections through envisioning stories from ancient times to contemporary life. Through a process of endless repetition and re-interpretation it becomes a timeless given: a myth existing at the junction where fact and fiction collide. And at the end, we believe what we see, or do we?
Purchase the magazine here: shop.foam.org
Festival Photo La Gacilly
We visited the Festival Photo La Gacilly in the region of Brittany. This festival counts several hundred large format photos, taken by well-known artists and amateur photographers alike. All exhibitions are installed in the open air throughout the quaint cobbled streets of the charming village of La Gacilly. Created in 2004 by Jacques Rocher - now president of the Yves Rocher Foundation - the festival allows the audience to think about the future of the planet. Whether the focus is thousand-year-old forests, oceans or civilisations, there will always be a photographer on hand to expose the dangers they face. Ethereal but thought provoking, each year the festival puts the spotlight on Mother Nature herself, so dignified, photogenic and proud, inviting us to reflect on the fragility of the world in which we live.
We have been particularly impressed by Patrick Tourneboeuf's "Next City" series, in which he made a visual comparison between China and India. He explains: "Imagine a tale of two cities, separated by almost 4,000 kilometers. Welcome to the capitals of India and China, the world's two most populated countries, with population levels hovering around the 1.5 billion mark. (...) Other than their booming population, China and India have nothing in common. (...) And yet... On the outskirts of these two metropolises, similar building sites thrives. Sprawling concrete jungles with the same structure, rules and perspectives. (...) Behind these homogeneous architectural landscapes, the outline of cultural identity on its way out can be glimpsed."
Instagram Takeovers: Liu Shuwei, Zhou Qiang, Zhou Hanshun
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.
This Summer, he shared several of his series, including “Visible Darkness” (2016), “Friendship and the pink triangle” (2017), “The Garden” (2017), one of his first projects “Childhood Revisited” (2012), as well as “Vanishing act” a recent series not officially published yet and in exclusivity for Photography of China.
Zhou Qiang 周强 was born in 1992 in Sichuan province. In early July, he shared some of his work from his photo series “Nimitta of the Other” ("他相") and “Life” ("生"). For "Nimitta of the Other" series, he explains: "There has always been the tradition of worshiping great peoples in Chinese history. Building temples for Guan Yu, Yu the Great, Yellow Emperor, Confucius is an important part of original system of belief. Since the establishment of new China government, there are at least ten "Temples of Great People" in China, located across Hunan Province, Jiangxi Province, Sichuan Province, Guangdong Province, and so forth. I visited several of these provinces in four to five years' period, viewing different forms of belief among the people."
Born and raised in Singapore, Zhou HanShun is a Photographic Artist, Printmaker and Art Director. After graduating from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore and RMIT University, he went on to make a living as an art director, and continues to pursue his passion as a visual storyteller and photographer. In August, he shared his series "Frenetic City" that consists in the culmination of photographs from 2014 to 2017, created in the streets of Hong Kong. This series reinvents the intensity and chaotic environment in one of the most densely populated cities in the world.