My ongoing global Cold War series called Bifucated and Parallel Histories was invited to participate in China’s biannual Lishui Photography Festival in November 2019. Although the first exhibition of this series took place in Berlin in 2014, most images in this show came from my rather recent works. Located at the Lishui Art Museum–the main festival site–my show constituted part of the festival’s two core exhibitions. Overall, the festival hosted works by nearly 5,000 photographers from around the world, and it was definitely the largest photography festival that I had ever seen. Of course, November 2019 feels like a world away now as it was the onset of a pandemic that would fundamentally change the world. In fact, Wuhan, the alleged epicenter of the outbreak was only less than 800km away from Lishui. Looking back, it was a fun and innocent week hanging out with artists, curators, and friends in Lishui and the vicinity. The spectacular and propaganda-laden opening gala did not seem to signal the incoming storm at all. Or did it?

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