Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chen Jiagang: The Great Third Front

Chen Jiagang
The Great Third Front #11
[The Great Third Front]

Edwynn Houk Gallery
© Chen Jiagang, Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York


Chinese contemporary photography is a vibrant mix of the old and new with commercial astuteness blended into a questioning of socio-cultural values. Chen Jiagang's photographs examine the industrial legacy of the "Third Front" of the 1960s when heavy industry was moved from border regions towards the more secure interior.

A self-described expressionist photographer, Jiagang’s photographs conjure a type of industrial fairy tale. With the digital addition of an element of the fantastic, a young girl elegantly dressed in the Maoist collar and dress (Qipao), Jiagang’s photographs allude to a former glory, a nostalgia for a period now lost to the more powerful forces propelling China into the future.

Thanks to the Edwynn Houk Gallery (New York) for their assistance with this exhibition.

There is an online exhibition on Luminous-Lint.

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