Friday, September 25, 2009
the essay on Russia called 7 Rooms from Rafal Milach which is
exhibited at the
Pingyao photo festival in China (Until the 25th) . I had chance to
meet up with Rafal during his short stay in Pingyao and perhaps I
will be talking more about his work in future.His different projects
are always refreshing
and giving me insipiration and great sense of delicacy in how to face
pictorially the complexity of Giant Russia. The work focused on 7
different people in Russia and in between winter landscape of this
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
a collection from the best classic Italian Photography. The exhibition
is called "United Artists of Italy" and it will last until February
2010. Here the list of the photographers:
Claudio Abate, Aurelio Amendola, Gabriele Basilico, Sandro Becchetti,
Gianni Berengo Gardin, Elisabetta Catalano, Giorgio Colombo, Mario
Cresci, Mario Dondero, Federico Garolla, Luigi Ghirri, Mario
Giacomelli, Gianfranco Gorgoni, Mimmo Jodice, Nanda Lanfranco, Uliano
Lucas, Attilio Maranzano, Nino Migliori, Ugo Mulas, Paolo Mussat
Sartor, Paolo Pellion, Ferdinando Scianna. (photo from Andy Warhol by
Monday, September 21, 2009
One of the best online magazine for fine art photography : Ahorn Magazine explore different aspect using simple galleries and well done interview on photographers. The magazine has been created by Daniel Augschoell and Ana Jasbar and it has an archives on the previous issues has been published.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
This time I will have to post something about myself.. I am very happy to exhibit my on going project on Cosplay in China at the Pingyao International Photo Festival which will open the 19th of September, the project is my first approach to the different youth subcultures which I want to work on in the next years. Not an easy project as I am intend to visit these kids in their home (rather than a park or in some official events) , I will be quite happy if one day I will come up with 15-20 good photos, at this stage I would say i am half of the way but already happy to have seen an interest from magazines and curators of Pingyao festival on the work.
I will write more about Pingyao as I am going there, there are some good photography to talk about furthermore in this blog.
Assuming the fact that working on a topic of cosplay could be tricky (many people already worked on it) I tried to set up a different view, try to dont let their mask taking over the portrait. To explain that I better post the statement written by Sara Vincenzi which she has found a remarkable text to explain my project. Here the statement :
Chinese youth's subucultures : Cosplayer
Fallen angels from heaven, wrapped in sheets garish robots, futuristic knights and princesses. In this way ', encased in heavy armor, transmuted by the speed' of change, Chinese’s teens take refuge in the imaginary dream, the ones of the epic heroes and characters of “Manga” and Japanese cartoons. They are the losers of the Chinese miracle, people born on the ashes of a generation speechless in its dreams and libertarians ideals.
”That day you covered my eyes and the sky with a red flag, you asked me what I was seeing, "Happiness'" I said ..... This feeling made me forget that I have no place to stay, you asked me which direction I want to go, I answered on your way... " Was singing Cui Jian , founder of Chinese rock, marking 'the end of that generation of the 80' who had fought and hoped.
Deprived of a past buried by the bulldozers of modernity 'and phagocytized by speed', the only unit 'of measurement of the Chinese metropolis of 21 th century, the new generations closing up in themselves, cover, disguise, dress, put colored wigs trying to live the real size of this elusive transmuting it into a fictional world where names, codes and social behaviors are re-invented and re-written in the language of the game.
China is "cannibal" said Lu Xun, is like Kronos devouring his own children at the cyclical rhythm of history and that lets you naked in front of it. Stripped off from their Mao’s blue uniforms with white Student’ shirts, disillusioned by the "magnificent destiny and progress" that social inequalities have widened dramatically over the past ten years, throw in virtual worlds, live double lives where the peeling and moldy walls of China are razed with blows of lasers and magic wands."Learn from Lei Feng" shouted the young red guards holding the booklet of Mao in the 60s. But today's Communist ideals and Confucian’s patriotism squeaking against the advance of globalization and economic growth that sweeps away layers of millenary culture and identity '.
The "Riben guizi," the once "Japanese devils" are a renewed target of national pride but also, at the same time, inspired a new matrix identity in a fluctuating split between public life and private life, reality 'and dream.Language, as always, is 'the first archaeological finding of the future: generations of bloggers and internet users destructure language itself, the slogans of the revolution pop fade like old “dazipao” on the walls, emblems of a past whose memory is' a luxury bitter and the young remain for a few Jiong "spechless" An idiogramma that remains voiceless, a virtual scream, a linguistic mask of China's future apophasis on the search of a new identity.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
New Exhibition at the Beaugeste Gallery in Shanghai, Jean Loh, curator of the gallery, will present the project of chinese photographer Lu Yuamin , a series done with a Lomo Camera, here in details the statement and presentation of the exhibition wich will open on the 19th of September:
Far ahead of 2010’s World Expo, from September to November 2009 the Beaugeste Gallery has chosen to present the most Haipai of Shanghai photographers, universally recognized and respected by his peers (*), Lu Yuanmin (born in 1950) and his most creative work so far : his vision of Shanghai through the viewfinder of his Lomo camera.
Starting in 2006 and for two years Lu Yuanmin, the most humanist and most classical, the most intimate photographer in China, who has been relentlessly photographing his Longtang fellowmen and his beloved Suzhou Creeks, has given up his old Seagull camera for a small Lomo. He then set out for a unprecedented creative exercise, carried away by the ease and the freedom brought by this semi gadget. He only stopped the Lomo shooting after he had used up his stock of over 500 rolls of China-made negatives and could no longer find any supply as the factory had closed down.
The exercise resulted in an astonishing “film noir” rich in tension and intensity, a very “black” vision of Shanghai in the sense of a thriller – (we remember Lu Yuanmin first job was projectionist in a cinema in 1968).
In this movie all sorts of characters form a strangest parade: mysterious Shanghai girls hiding their identity behind fancy sunglasses, couples in love or in fight, an elf-like girl picking her nose, an angel-like girl spread her wings, a bunch of dogs take part in this parade: two of them compete in lifting legs, a giant poodle threatens to devour the lens of the camera, a grand-ma lost in translation talking to a plastic doggie…the multiple faces of our microcosm revealed through the Lomo’s dark rings.
Lu Yuanmin was born under the sign of the tiger, says Professor Lin Lu, famous critic, but he is kind and gentle as a lamb. What we see in his Lomo series are the claws of a hungry wolf, the eyes of a lynx on the prowl, and the mocking irony of an alley cat that is watching us from above yet with a touch of tenderness.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I visited the web site of Fabien Seguin , multimedia artist living and working in China (Wuhan), he has some interesting series such as Hulumbuir and the polaroid work done on series Otium and Pure Instant Male. Here the statement from Hulumbuir where is possible to understand the cultural blend experienced by living in a Megacity in China
"I've lived for more than two years in a megalopolis located in central China and day-by-day I can witness the worrying effects of an ever-growing pollution. As a photographer, the most shocking phenomenon is the constant veil of dust occupying the sky and covering the whole city. This cover virtually changes the color of the light and gives the impression of living on another planet. In August 2008 I stayed one month in Inner Mongolia (Chinese province), in the region of Hulunbuir, a city lost in the grasslands. There I discovered the same strong light, the same brightness, the same vast blue skies as those of my native Alps, with, in the background, a smell of grass similar to that of the Alpine massifs. This stay took me back to the world of childhood, to the clarity and freshness of life far from the cities, to a world where time and light can be felt again.Every image of this series is a moment where my eye was ravished by the quality of the light and by what was so strongly lit. Spontaneity is the rule of this work. This aesthetic of rapture is at least as necessary as the alarmist tone prevailing in the mass media when the discussion deals with environment."
Monday, September 14, 2009
I like the new work from Li Jun which is exhibited at the M97 Gallery in Shanghai. The Exhibition include also Yang Yi and the "Love Hotel" Series from Meh Jin and ang Er .
Here the statement of the project from Li Jun called "Impermanent Instant"
In buddhism, the fundamental concept of "impermanence" teaches that all things are in a constant state of change. Time, existence, and consciousness itself are nothing more than a series of eternally changing impermanent instants. For the unprecedented frenzy of development that is modern China there is perhaps no more fitting a metaphor than dust. It’s a sign of the old world and a sign of the new world. A sign of the ubiquitous concrete high-rise block and cavernous construction site. A sign of the demolished lanes and dwellings of ancient architecture, as well as a sign of pollution and an insatiable industrial appetite. In China, dust is the ever-looming particulate by-product of the physical metamorphosis that envelops the entire country and its people. For photography artist Li Jun, the phenomenon of dust that envelops the simple objects and possessions of his Chengdu apartment and the haunting traces the objects leave offers poetic empirical proof of his and their temporary impermanent existence, however ephemeral, amidst tumultuous environs and changing times.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Taiwanese Photographer Juan I - Jong has worked in photojournalism for 30 years, his retrospective will be showcased at the Guandong Museum of Art in China. He has also contributed as a curator and discovered Chinese photographers such as Lu Nan and Fang Dazeng. Indeed he has started the well know magazine Photographers International which deal with specific topic and issues and recognized as one of the best publication worldwide.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I am interested in Iranian photography and i have posted what I could find so far but some nice person from Tehran gave me some names to look for and I am very happy to share it in my blog. Today I would recommend to look at Mitra Tabrizian work, is another example of sensibility from an inside view of this beautiful country. I do like projects like Tehran, West Suburb and Wall house.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I grew up with the music and lyrics of Patti Smith and the city of Florence is dedicating an interesting exhibition on the last famous concert of Patti Smith in the Tuscan capital. The Photos show the historical concert where during the event a group of young people created a kind of invasion of the stage and from where Patti Smith decided to stop to perform for a certain time of her life. There were difficult times in italy, struggles between different political group where people believed that concert of any kind of performer should have to be free for everybody.
Patti Smith will perform again in Florence on the 10th of September, she will face the city which made her angry again after 30 years, another historical concert and the photo exhibition will show photos from that famous night. Photo taken from different photographers and worth to have a look (The concert will worth much more for sure...)
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Thomas Fuesser will showcase his photos alongside some other artist such as Zhou Tiehai , Chris Gill and Andy Hall in the Shanghart Gallery in Huai Hai Rd.
Here the statement from the exhibition which will open on the 8th of September.
This exhibition presents an opportunity for the first time to see photographs of many of China’s famous artists from the early 1990s. This exhibition will be the first time these works have been presented in public, or even printed from the film. Alongside these photographs we have a visual; discussion of what has taken place in China over the last two decades conducted by the artists Zhou Tiehai, Chris Gill and Andy Hall.
There are many logical traps which catch out the observers of the Chinese reform process. There is especially a lack of understanding of what are the cultural and artistic processes that have fed the rapid and ongoing changes in the cultural field.
The media has played, and continues to play, an important role in modern and contemporary Chinese art. So one of the basic premises of the exhibition Stolen treasures from modern China, to be held at Shanghart Huaihai Road 796 starting September 8, is to show how media played an important role in the early careers of many artists in China, and also how some artists reacted to the role of the media. The media has documented as well as explained to local and international audiences the various Chinese artists and movements over the years.
The nature of intransigent cultural theft is a complex issue, as physical cultural objects created post 1949 are considered free from governmental control. But, as yet, it has not yet been really addressed what is the value of artworks created in the early 90s within the context of international dialogue alongside the Chinese phenomenon of reform and progressive change?
A unique set of circumstances in China in the early 1990s, a period when the country was still in the initial stages of its opening and reform process, led to a select group of artists becoming well known figures, and others less so.
For the starting point of this exhibition we have chosen 1993, when a series of visits introducing artists Joerg Immendorf (Hamburg), Guenther Uecker (Duesseldorf), art critics Andrew Solomon (New York Times), Thomas Fuesser (Stern, Germany), and others to the art scenes of Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou was arranged. This historical arrangement, a list of artist names constructed under the guidance of Hans van Dijk, proved instrumental for many artists’ careers. Later Hans founded China Art Archives and Warehouse, with Ai Weiwei.
So this exhibition provides the first opportunity to see the photos taken by Fuesser, which remained as negatives in a box in Hamburg. Also, this visit inspired Zhou Tiehai’s seminal works, such as his video and fake magazine covers.Gill and Hall, though long term residents in China were never on the list. They weren’t particularly bothered about not being on the list. Their work presents a historical flux- a counterpoint to the work of Zhou and Fuesser, talking about the changes that have taken place over the period 1993 until now, the process of historical flux- not only in the art world, but in attitudes and behaviour in society at large- including foreign views of China as well as China’s self image.The many circles of historical development that have taken place are represented in this exhibition in a simple edited format- a reflection of how history edits down the process’ of development.
The key elements of foreign and local involvement in Chinese art will also be explored by the exhibition.
As Gao Shiming, curator of the Guangzhou Triennial, told Gill: “There have been three generations of foreigners involved in Chinese art, the first generation made a hole in the wall, the second generation built a bridge, and the third generation built a beautiful pagoda.”
A limited edition book containing important documents and a wider selection of works will also be available.
Opening:Sept. 8, 2009 Tuesday
Venue: Shanghart Gallery HH796, 796 Huai Hai Middle Road Shanghai
Date: Sept 9-Sept 20, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
I have, earlier, posted an article on Massimo Sordi, a photographer
and educator in Italy which has now curated a group exhibition called
"Global Photographer" inside the Savignano Immagini Festival (Si
Fest) in Italy. The group exhibition has interesting names such as Michele
Cera, Jen Davis, Andrew Phelps , Richard Renaldi, Carla Van de
Puttelaar and Shen Wein (from which i take the cover photo of this
article).The list of photographer is bigger and you can have more
information visiting the web site of the festival from which I am
going to post more as there are more beautiful shows and exhibitions
to talk about .
Here the statement of the exhibition:
Not alone in a big house
The special attention to young photography, showed by the Festival of
Photography of Savignano during its eighteen years of life, expressing
through the large panorama of exhibitions, awards, lectures, workshops
and portfolio readings, suggested the wish to set up a "young section"
within the Si Fest, as a selection of late experiences of Italian and
Global Photography wants to be an observatory on emerging photography
and Savignano Immagini becomes its support, representing a basic
reference to its natural development and diffusion.
Since the starting with the Si Fest 2009 edition, this event focus on
the meanings of the term identity; questioning about different aspects
of the cultural or geographical sources deriving from it, we can
interpret multiplicity of codes discerning from the relationships
between people, and between people and places, through the perception
of their mutations.
"A troubled age is an age that wonders about the coherence of the
world and about the relevance of the languages in charge of expressing
such coherence. In this age more than ever, there are elements of
incomprehensible, uncertain, not interpretable nature, floating
meanings scattered all over. The identity's certainties and the
languages of "representation", which are definitely not the ones of
the doubt, as a reaction, recreate themselves. […] We must urgently
address the issues which arises in a different way: thinking, talking,
Identity and globalization appear to become essential terms to
describe the features of the contemporary and reflect, through their
vagueness and generality, the delicate fragility of circumstances and
events that increasingly characterize our existence.In this context
the never-ending system established by the global network, universally
shared, seems to offer a democratic use of informations, relying on
each one to be understood and personalized.
Looking at / Looking for approaches the theme of vision as research of
an inner path that digs into the human figure to overcome the physical
limitations of the body assuming a broader corporeity or materiality.
The body becomes a sort of vehicle, the unrenounceable way between the
world and ourselves, the material entity that gives us the measure and
the distance between the reality and the illusion of a photographic
Looking at wouldn't have any significance without looking for, so as
looking for would fall into vagueness without the real support from
looking at: in a permanent balance the apparent borders of both terms
encroach to compose in unison the metaphoric photographing act.
The different authors, in the exhibition of disconnected distances
between clear perceptible realities, shape the imaginary paths that
would be ascribed to such qualities as Lightness, Quickness,
Exactitude, Visibility, Multiplicity.
Announced as "Six proposals for the next millennium", these categories
seem to emphasize the questions arising from the pictures. They
materialize the distinct expressions of the single images to define a
common ground to belong to which communicates the primary relationship
between the artwork and ourselves, an interior sincerity otherwise
The protagonists of the pictures get to undo their identities
revealing the multiplicity of interpretable signs beyond the image of
But "who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combinatoria of
experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each
life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series
of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in
every way conceivable".
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I spoke already in my blog about the Dana Popa's project Not Natasha,
it is a great documentation on Moldovian women who are victims of
human trafficking, the project from Young romanian photographer has
received many awards and grants and displayed in many galleries.
Currently is at the Photofusion gallery in London which I suggest to
visit, here a statement from the curator of the exhibition Natasha
'Behind the fancy facades of the cosmopolitan capitals of Europe,
hundreds of rooms become exile spaces for myriads of bodies
objectified for male fantasy. While most of them are squalid and cold,
many others appear familiar and warm. Mirrors, red lights, posters,
the list of services on the bedside – all these little attempts at
humanising these rooms, at imbuing them with a kind of homeliness,
speak for the girls' need to survive.'