Openings - Chinese contemporary photography in focus

Contemporary Chinese photography is becoming increasingly prominent in the field of international contemporary art. In the coming months, three major US institutions – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum – will include works by Chinese contemporary photographers in group exhibitions. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York recently acquired a collection of photographic works by Chinese artists from an anonymous donor. The works of Weng Fen (photo) is now part of the group exhibition ‘Between Here and There: Passages in Contemporary Photography’ which runs until February and explores themes of dislocation and displacement in a progressively global society. Weng Fen has always been interested in the transitional phases and changes China has been facing in the last 30 years. In his earlier series 'Sitting on the Wall' and 'Bird's Eye View', Weng's epic images focus on the upraising of urbanism in cities such as Haikou, Shanghai and Shenzhen. His subjects stood as outsiders looking into this overwhelming transformation with anticipation, fear and curiosity. In other series, the artist looked beyond the physical changes to investigate emotional and spiritual transformations, moving his camera from urban cities to rural countries, exploring the possibility of finding an otherworldly utopia.

At The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today (August 1 – November 1, 2010), a show that examines the intersection between photography and sculpture, will feature photography by Chinese artists Ai Weiwei and Zhang Dali.

Later this year the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles will present Photography from New China (December 7, 2010 – April 3, 2011). Offering a contrast to the nineteenth-century views of China and other parts of East Asia by Felice Beato concurrently on view in the Getty Center for Photographs, this exhibition will offersa cross-section of Chinese photographs produced since the late 1970s. Highlighting the Getty's recent acquisition of photographs by Hai Bo, Liu Zheng, Song Yongping, Rong Rong, and Wang Qingsong, Photography from New China will showcase several approaches that are characteristic of recent Chinese contemporary art, including performance for the camera, the incorporation of family photographs, and an emphasis on the body.