Tag Archives: exhibition

Moving Images @ Contact 2019

My exibition Moving Images, Moving People is now on view @ 401 Richmond as part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. This is also the first exhibition of this body of work after more than 4 years of research and collaboration, as well as 15 months of planning, curatorial design, and production. The exhibition is made up of illuminated lightboxes, 4K video projections, archival footage, and historical artifacts.

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Moving Images, Moving People

Posters for my upcoming exhibition in this year’s Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and the related talk + roundtable event.

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Lianzhou Update

Le Monde, the Paris-based daily, reports on the censorship problems in this year’s Lianzhou Foto Festival. They estimate that at least 10% of the approximately 2,000 photographs, including several of my photographs, were censored in the exhibition. I spoke briefly with an editor from the paper: Festival de photographie : en Chine, l’art mystérieux de la censure

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The Theater of War

My solo exhibtion The Theater of War will open on December 1 as part of the 2018 Lianzhou Foto Festival. The exhibition draws on my ongoing investigation of the relation between aesthetics and military violence, nuclear fallout, and Cold War ruins.

In his treatise On War published nearly two centuries ago, the Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz deploys the idea of the “Theater of War” to analyze warfare. By the twentieth century, this concept has emerged as a common Western military expression. However, the idea of the theater of war is also an accurate description of war preparation, drills, and even civil defense. From the Cold War arms race to the Gulf Wars, the two military superpowers–the United States and the Soviet Union–often used their restricted military zones to simulate the enemy territories for training and weapon testing. Meanwhile, dramatic scenes of devastation by the enemy were also used in civil defense. In other words, even without a real war, the hostile landscape associated with the enemy had already arrived in one’s own territory. Moreover, these fictional scenes tended to normalize the anxiety, fear, and violence brought about by war, and hence greatly increased the possibility of disasters. Thus, even if the war of mutual annihilation did not occur, many military bases and cities built for war preparation had already become victims. Today, the sense of ruination and desolation is evident in these still active simulated battlefields, abandoned weapons testing sites and related military bases, as well as cities and farmlands destroyed in the process. As if the worst nightmare of war has indeed come true, these devastated scenes resemble that of the post-apocalyptic world.

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A Dialogue between Landscapes

Today is the last day of my exhibition at the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, one of Berlin’s state museums. This five month exhibition has been an innovative and experimential project in that my photographs of China’s post-socialist urban transformation are in dialogue with several traditional-style Chinese landscape paintings from the 1960s. Among other things, the exhibition shows contrasting landscapes, media forms, early/postsocialist modernity, and utopian/dystopian visions. Here are the links respectively to the exhibition website and a write-up by the Munk School.

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