As the oldest and once most advanced civilization in the world, China has a rich history of artistic output spanning back some 4,000 years. In parallel to the booming art scenes elsewhere in Asia, contemporary art in China has been flourishing since the new millennium as artists respond to the cultural and economic shifts in the country. Amongst the various mediums through which these ideas are being explored - such as painting, performance, sculpture and new media - photography is playing an increasingly important role. Presented here are six artists whose work is emblematic of the various trajectories, themes and devices being explored by Chinese photographers today.
The relationship between rapid economic expansion, technological progression and a deep cultural value system can be seen as the unifying thread running through the exhibition. Sometimes this manifests itself simply through a subtle reference to Chinese cultural heritage in a contemporary context, such as with the work of Chu Chu, Liu Yue and Yan Xinfa. In other cases the exploration of this cultural and economic shift becomes more explicit, such as in the work of Luo Yongjin, Ma Kang and Yang Yongliang. In all cases, the exhibition demonstrates that contemporary photography in China is dynamic, mature and politically conscious at a time of profound cultural change in the country.
This exhibition has been put together in collaboration with OFOTO Gallery in Shanghai. It marks the first of a series of group exhibitions at Tasveer intended to highlight contemporary photography from Asian countries.