Rong Rong's East Village

Works by Rong Rong

NEW YORK

May 9 – June 21, 2003

Self-portrait, East Village, Beijing 自拍像,东村, 北京
1994
Black and white photograph 黑白摄影
63 3/8 x 42 1/8 in (161 x 107 cm)
 
Self-portrait, Beijing No. 0 自拍像, 北京 No. 0 
1994
Black and white photograph 黑白摄影
63 3/8 x 42 1/8 in (161 x 107 cm)
East Village, Beijing No. 35 东村,北京 35
1994
Black and white photograph 黑白摄影
63 3/8 x 42 1/8 in (161 x 107 cm)
 
East Village, Beijing No. 81 东村,北京 81
1994
Black and white photograph 黑白摄影
63 3/8 x 42 1/8 in (161 x 107 cm)
East Village, Beijing No. 71 东村, 北京No.71
1994
Black and white photograph 手染黑白摄影
16 x 23 in (41 x 58 cm)
East Village, Beijing No. 89 东村, 北京No. 89
1994
Black and white photograph 黑白摄影
15 3/4 x 23 5/8 in (40 x 60 cm)
East Village, Beijing No. 9 东村, 北京No. 9
1994
Black and white photograph 黑白摄影
15 3/4 x 23 5/8 in (40 x 60 cm)
East Village, Beijing No. 80 东村,北京 80
1994
Black and white photograph 黑白摄影
23 5/8 x 15 3/4 in (60 x 40 cm)
 

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of Rong Rong's East Village on May 9th, 2003. Recent photographs by Rong Rong, in which he photographed himself in various locations inside and outside Beijing, were exhibited at Chambers Fine Art in January 2001. This exhibition, however, is devoted to the body of work that first attracted international attention, his photographs of the activities of the group of artists who lived in the remote area of Beijing that was soon to be known as the East Village.

Rong Rong moved to this insalubrious part of town in 1992 because of the low rents, but shortly after moving in he discovered that he was not alone. Soon after he met most of the artists and musicians - Zhang Huan, Ma Liuming, Zhu Ming, Xu San and Zhu Zhou among others - who were to become his major subjects in the ensuing eighteen months.

"I want to take pictures of everybody in the village," he wrote to his sister. Rong Rong was present at some of the most memorable performances of the last decade, including Zhang Huan's 12 Square Meters and 65 Kilograms, Fen/Ma Liuming's lunch. In his photographs unexpected camera angles and dramatic chiaroscuro effects transform the occasional squalor and chaos of the actual events into powerful dream-like images. This period when a group of independent- minded artists, musicians and critics stimulated and brought out the best in each other did not last very long. The East Village was closed down by the police in 1994.

Referring to this crucial period in the development of Chinese avant-garde art in the 1990s, Wu Hung has written: "The crucial significance of the East Village community lies in its formation as a close alliance of performing artists and photographers, who inspired each other's work by serving as each other's models and audience. Viewed in the context of contemporary experimental Chinese art, this alliance initiated one of the most important developments in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when experimental artists working in different mediums increasingly envisioned and designed their works as performances, and when many of these artists were also increasingly attracted by photography, not only deriving inspiration from it but also making photographs of themselves."

The exhibition coincides with the publication of Rong Rong's East Village, a limited edition portfolio of forty of the most memorable photographs taken between 1993 and 1998. The photographs are divided into three groups according to their subjects and dates of execution. The first group, taken from 1993 to June 1994, portrays the East Villages artistic community in its original location. The second group records continuing performances by East Village artists from late 1994 to 1997, after the community had been forced to disperse. The third group consists of Rong Rong's self-portraits taken in his East Village days. Accompanying the photographs are extracts from the diary Rong Rong kept while he was living in the East Village with an extensive commentary by Wu Hung, entitled Rong Rong's East Village.

*Limited Edition Catalogue Available

2003年5月9日开幕的《荣荣的东村》,是摄影家荣荣在前波画廊的第二次个人展览。前波画廊于2001年1月展出了荣荣近期拍摄的北京市区内外的照片,而这次展出的照片则是他早期拍摄的关于位于北京郊外“东村”的艺术团体的黑白照片。正是这些记录早期艺术家活动的照片引起了国际艺术界对荣荣的关注。

荣荣于1992年搬入北京郊外这一条件简陋,但房租极低小村庄。他不久就在那里遇到了一群和他一样的艺术家和音乐家,其中包括张洹,马六明,朱铭,徐三和诅咒等。而这些艺术家也成为了荣荣在此之后18个月内的摄影对象。

在给他妹妹的信中,荣荣写到:“我要拍我们村里的每一个人。”他用相机记录了如张洹的《12平方米》和《65公斤》以及马六明的《芬·马六明》等,过去十年中发生的最值得纪念的行为艺术。照片中特殊的视角和强烈的明暗对比,使这些看似肮脏及混乱的场景和事件变得如梦幻般的震撼人心。这群艺术家,音乐家和艺评人互相鼓励和启发,创造出了许多优秀的艺术作品。但不幸的是东村于1994年被迫关闭。

在谈到中国前卫艺术发展的这段关键时间时,巫鸿教授谈到:“东村的重要性在于它作为一个艺术群体的团结性。东村的行为艺术家和摄影家共同合作,大家既是参与者又是观赏者。从中国当代试验性艺术的发展来看,这个群体是二十世纪九十年代及二十一世纪初最重要的集体性艺术运动。这群艺术家们不断地尝试使用诸如行为艺术的新形表现媒体,也从照片中寻找灵感,并将照片作为单独的艺术创作媒体。”

此次展览将限量出版同名图录《荣荣的东村》,其中包括荣荣于1993至1998年间拍摄的四十张最有价值,最值得回忆的照片。根据主题及拍摄的时间,这些照片被分为三个部分。第一部分摄于1993年至1994年6月,表现了艺术家们在东村原址的活动。第二部分照片包括1994年底至1997年间,东村艺术家们的艺术表演活动。最后一部分是荣荣在这断时间内的自拍照。图录同时包括荣荣的日记,及巫鸿教授所撰写的一篇极具学术价值的文章。

*前波画廊为此展览出版了展览图录

Back To Top