One to One: Visions-Recent Photographs from China

Works by Guan Shi, Wen Ling, Xu Lei, Ma Han, Yi Deer, Bai Yiluo, Lin Jingjing and Chi Peng

NEW YORK

April 15 – May 29, 2004

Chi Peng
Sprinting Forward 2
2004
Color Photograph
50 x 63 in (127 x 134 1/2 cm)
Lin Jingjing
My 365 Days 
2002
Black and white photograph
48 x 93 in
Bai Yiluo
Zodiac
2003
Color Photograph
18 x 118 in (45 x 300 cm)
Deer Yi
Fairytale Keeper
2003
Color Photograph
35 1/4 x 47 in (90 x 119 cm)
Ma Han
It's the Wind
2001
Color Photograph
23 x 195 1/4 in (58 x 496 cm)

The Strategy of the Unguarded City (1) & (2)

2003

Color photograph, edition of 8

31 3/4 x 39 1/2 in (80 1/2 x 100 cm)

Wen Ling
Beijing (2)
2003
Color Photograph
9 3/4 x 74 in (25 x 188 cm)
Guan Shi
Year 2000
2000
Black and white photograph
19 1/4 x 78 3/8 in (49 x 199 cm)

In the last decade photography has become increasingly important as a medium of expression among the younger generation of Chinese artists. While many have turned to performance and installation, a significant number have elected photography as the most appropriate means of conveying their complex reactions to the simultaneous destruction of the old and adoption of the new that is occurring in China , particularly in the big cities.

In One to One curator Feng Boyi has selected eight young photographers who approach the task of recording their environment from diametrically opposed viewpoints. Some of the photographers realistically record their own life experiences and living conditions, as is the case with Guan Shi and Wen Ling, who both emphasize the facts of their existence. Xu Lei, Ma Han, Yi Deer, Bai Yiluo, Lin Jingjing and Chi Peng utilize props and other devices to create and manipulate the environments in which they live.

Play of Ants by Ma Han is a montage of images of the streets of Beijing . His photographs of the incessant movement of vehicles and pedestrians at a street corner in Beijing over an extended period of time resemble the frenetic activity inside an ant-hill. The young artist Guan Shi takes numerous snapshots of routine events in his daily life, and uses this visual diary to record his existence. Through the eyes of the artist, we clearly see the changes in society and people's attitudes in the course of China 's economic development. Chi Peng presents the dreams of today's adolescents. Experiencing the pains of growing up in a rapidly changing society, the young people seem fragile and at the same time ready to embrace the challenge. After photographing the portraits of hundreds of ordinary Chinese, Bai Yiluo diligently arranges and pastes the portraits into the shapes of traditional Chinese zodiac animals. This results in images that are familiar but also strangely humorous.

Through the juxtaposition of such alternate views the complexity of life in this transitional period in which knowledge of tradition is being rapidly eroded is powerfully conveyed. Whether documenting reality or recording visions of what might occur, the photographers in this exhibition create startling metaphors that vividly convey the quality of life in China today. The views of ancient cities by Xu Lei and the hallucinatory glimpses of modern urban life by Lin Jingjing may appear to be at the opposite ends of the photographic spectrum as it exists today but as Feng Boyi has observed in his discussion of the other artists in the exhibition, it is through the process of contrast and comparison that a more profound understanding can be achieved.

*Catalogue Available

近十年来,中国新一代艺术家的艺术表达形式越来越多元化。其中一部分使用行为艺术或装置艺术,而另一批艺术家则选择摄影作为最适合他们的媒体,传达他们对中国,特别是在中国的大城市中,逐渐消失的传统与新鲜事物的复杂反应。

在《一对一:他们的目光》展览中,冯博一挑选了八位年轻摄影家的作品。他们的摄影作品都以日常生活的细节及环境为基本视角,相互生辉。其中,有真实的对自身的生活过程和原生形态的记录,强调记录的真实性,如关矢、温凌。另外一种表现形式则是从日常生活的参照物中提示而成,采用摆拍的虚构手段与策略,以达到真实的效果,即重新建构现实和用虚构补充现实,强调以创作主体的角度来表现和阐释出隐藏的真实,如徐累、马晗、伊德尔、白宜洛、林菁菁、迟鹏。

马晗在《蚂蚁的计划》中,将北京街道交通实景的照片组合。画面上的汽车如蚂蚁般,正啃食着我们的历史遗存。繁复而急速的汽车工业及街道行人的背后是作者的质疑和无尽怅惘。年轻艺术家关矢的一组图片,带有摄影日记的性质,真实记录了他目前日常生存的细节状态。中国在文革前后两个时代的差异,改革开放的社会转型过程中人们生活态度的改变,通过这两位艺术家的视角而昭然若揭。迟鹏将新一代青年的青春期生活状态装置成一种超现实的陌生情境,貌似冷漠、客观、暧昧的态度,构成的是一种既脆弱又具有英雄气质的,刚刚摆脱成长期烦恼的特殊状态。白宜洛拍摄了几百位中国普通老百姓的头像,并将它们复数地拼贴、排列,组成中国传统生肖的图案,表现出了对现实荒诞而熟悉的陌生感。

这次展览所展出的照片中,一部分强烈地传达了在这个正在(或已经)消失的历史文化中,残留下的一些命运的痕迹;另一些则以日常的生活细节,揭示出某种在日常被忽视,而又时时环绕于周围的真实性。徐累拍摄的是南京明代的旧城,与林菁菁幻觉中日常生活的细节构成现代摄影光谱似的对立。策展人冯博一对许多对艺术家及其作品的深一层的理解,正是通过这种对比的过程而产生的。

*前波画廊为此展览出版了展览图录

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