Photographs: 90 FengxianRoad
Photographs: 90 Fengxian Road
90 Fengxian Road of Shanghai, China, is a street lined with rows of colonial houses built in 1911 for British missionaries. The road is directly behind a busy shopping section of Nanjing Road in a district called Jing’an. In 2006, New York photographer Heungman rented an upstairs room as a home/studio for his 2-year-stay in recollecting memories of the motherland.
Heungman’s first focus was China’s recent past. He started by collecting Cultural Revolution relics and began working on his first project immediately. The controversial juxtaposition of naked female figures along side objects from the Mao era brought Heungman immediate recognition from the local art community but encountering political issues during his first exhibition in China. Because most galleries prefer the practice of self-censorship only a few selected pieces can be shown to public.
Despite this set back, Heungman moved onto a portrait series of twin sisters. Though less radical in point of view, Heugnman is satisfied with the duality and yin yang aspect of the project. In order to further preserve the characteristic of the location on film, Heungman shot a different series of nudes on the antique wood floor of his studio lit only with ambient light.
During his two years stay, Heungman also trained his lens on the every day life in and around the old Shanghai neighborhoods of his adopted home. He was quite delighted to get out of his studio but sad to see much of the neighborhood vanish before new China’s rapid reconstruction.
Returning to the United States in 2008 Heungman now divides his time between Shanghai and New York.