中文 / English

Once Upon a Time – Photography Exhibition of Wang Qingsong, He Chongyue & Chen Jiagang,2012

Date:2012.02.25 - 2012.03.25

Address: Gallery 100, Taipei, Taiwan

Once upon a Time –
A Group Exhibition of Contemporary Photography

Feb 25, 2012-Mar 31, 2012


Wang Qingsong, He Chongyue, Chen Jiagang

 

Text/ Gallery100

When compared to other approaches to creativity, the artistic form of photography captures both what can be seen and what goes unnoticed in one fleeting real moment in time, the moment that a picture is taken. In any discussion of the concept of visual objects, photography is of unparalleled importance. Moreover, photography has played an important role in the discussion of social and political issues throughout the development of contemporary Chinese art. The exhibition “Once upon a Time – A Group Exhibition of Contemporary Photography, invites the middle-generation Chinese photographic artists Wang Qingsong, He Chongyue, and Chen Jiagang to discuss the changing landscape and cultural phenomenon in China over the years, in their own inimical styles

Wang Qingsong was a renowned Avant-garde artist in China since the 80’s. His photographic scenes are imbued with the spirit of mundane and even rough and vulgar life, reflecting the unique narrative logic of the development of contemporary Chinese art and its reaction to western aesthetic values. His pictures are replete with semiotic meaning representing calmness and humor, combined to create the dramatic tension of a story and unique observations of current events. In Wang’s two most recent works “Goddess” and “Temple”, the fantastic and bizarre scenes depicted are an extension of the artist’s unique visual aesthetic. In his early works the artist used various objects to satirize gradually changing photographic arrangements and their embrace of a more modern deadpan photographic style. At the same time, his works also correspond to changes in Chinese social consciousness and the political-economic situation in China in the post-911 world. Wang’s works have been collected by art museums around the world and he is frequently invited to take part in international exhibitions. In 2011 he participated in the Arles Photography Festival in France; in 2010, his seminal work “Follow Me” was displayed as part of a touring exhibition at museums across Spain; in 2006 he attended the ICP Triennial in the United States.

He Chongyue adopts a more social documentary type approach as he visits the dramatic changes that have taken place in Greater China. He takes the memories of this era and locks them into each of his works, so that they stand as a silent testament to history. One of the pieces he shows at the current exhibition it titled “Former Residence of Liu Wencai”. The owner of the house Liu Wencai was targeted during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and is presented as a villain in “Rent Collection Courtyard”. Li was a member of the gentry in rural Sichuan, who however was labeled as one of the “Black Five” during the Cultural Revolution and from then on deliberately portrayed as a reactionary local despot who exploited the peasantry. The red flag on the wall is a testament to a time in the past when politics dominated everything, whereas the mottled stains speak to an infinite melancholy. He’s photography works have consistently been one of the best mediums for the West to observe the changes taking place in Chinese society. One of his most important series of works “A Billion to One” was displayed at the Valencia Contemporary Art Center in Spain in 2008; in 2007, he took part in the exhibition “Toward the Post-Century” curated by renowned Chinese curator Gao Minglu.

Chen Jiagang is particularly adept at crafting pictures that are infused with a sense of eastern charm. The female roles implanted into those pictures tend to have a semiotic meaning that transcends gender, but rather symbolize the values and archetypes of traditional eastern society. As part of the photographic process the artist spent much time visiting out of the way places known by few and consigned to history. Through his camera lens Chen reawakens memories long forgotten memories as part of the process of modern urbanization. When contrasted with this primitive environmental narrative the gentle characters seen convey a sense of sentiment and nostalgia for the past. This combination ensures that Chen Jiagang’s photographic works are infused with an aesthetic experience based on conflict and nearly surrealist impression in his pictures. His recent work “Sample Room”, presents a sumptuous scene that genuinely depicts the absurd values and lifestyle faced by the preeminence of socialism as Chinese society changes. His works have been in the acquisition of MoMA in the United States and the Valencia Contemporary Art Center also.

中文 / English