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Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change
Zhang Qunzi and Her Two Daughters
Mengjin County, Henan, 1996
© Jiang Jian

Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change

ZHOU Hai » JIANG Jian » ZHOU Ming » LIU Xiaodi » ZHANG Xinmin » LUO Yongjin » LU Yuanmin »

Exhibition: – 18 Jun 2006

Boca Raton Museum of Art

501 Plaza Real, Mizner Park
FL 33432 Boca Raton

+1-561-3922500


www.bocamuseum.org

The Boca Raton Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change and Edward Burtynsky: The China Series. These exhibitions will be on display through June 18. Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change Hailed by The New York Times as "profound" and "heroic," Documenting China presents 57 dramatic images by seven contemporary Chinese photographers. These raw black-and-white and color photographs unveil the truth about China's internal struggle – a battle between modern industrialism and the traditional, agrarian past that has sustained the country for thousands of years. The work of these seven photographers – Liu Xiaodi, Jiang Jian, Zhang Xinmin, Luo Yongjin, Zhou Hai, Lu Yuanmin and Zhou Ming – offers an astonishing understanding of contemporary Asian society, while revealing the modern essence of the most populous nation on earth from an insider's point of view. The works tell the gritty, sometimes proud stories of those still struggling to blend into the urban landscape without losing sight of their old ways, and each photographer has a unique way of telling this story, whether through quick snapshots of urban and rural life, or methodically- and artistically-composed with as much emphasis placed on composition and color as on subject matter and context. Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change is organized by Bates College Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service, and has been made possible through the generous support of Crystal Cruises. A catalogue accompanies this exhibition. Edward Burtynsky: The China Series The large format color photography of internationally-acclaimed Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is awe-inspiring. Exquisitely detailed and exactingly rendered, these large scale (5 x 6 feet) photographs document modern day Chinese industrialization. Drawing from his most recent trips to China, this exhibition includes Burtynsky's images of industrial factory workers, the attempts at recycling, and the abandoned manufacturing plants, showing the behind-the-scenes working of the world we hardly see, even though we come into contact with its results on a daily basis. The sheer numbers of seemingly identical workers and the mass quantities of discarded parts create images that are at once arresting and unsettling. Also included are images from the controversial Three Gorges Dam project, by far the world's most extravagant and environmentally-altering hydroelectric engineering feat. Burtynsky's images are meant, in the artist's own words, "as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and feat." Edward Burtynsky: The China Series was organized by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Also on display through June 18 is Graham Nickson: From Private Collections and William Crutchfield – Drawing Range. The Boca Raton Museum of Art is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10am – 5pm; Wednesday 10am – 9pm; and Saturday and Sunday 12pm – 5pm. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens (65 and older), $4 per person for group tours and $4 for students. For more information call 561.392.2500 or visit www.bocamuseum.org.

Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change
Zhao Weidong, 16
Jiyvan County, Henan, 1999
Jiang Jian
Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change
Untitled, 1978-79 ©Liu Xiaodi
A family tills their field without the assistance of draft animals. Prior to 1976, almost 75% of China’s population and the majority of the country’s poor, made their livelihoods farming the land.
Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change
Yunnan, 1998 ©Zhang Xinmin
A boy sits with his grandfather next to a traditionally constructed rural dwelling. Children are frequently left with grandparents while their parents earn a living in the cities.