“Here’s Looking at You!”:A Generation of Chinese Photographic Portraits before the Selfie

Exposition à Shanghai du 22 avril  2017 au 25 juillet 2017 au Centre de la photographie de Shanghai.

“Here’s Looking at You” takes as its subject the self in photographs as a vehicle for examining the diverse ways in which people choose to be photographed, and how the ways in which we see ourselves have (or haven’t) changed from the 1980s to today.

The exhibition begins with a selection from the Beijing Silvermine archive, an on-going salvage operation conceived by French national Thomas Sauvin when he was living in Beijing. Begun in 2009, today the half-a-million-strong archive offers a unique historic picture of China between 1985 and 2005.

Little North Road, a project conceived by American photographer Daniel Traub, produced in collaboration with photographers Zeng Xianfang and Wu Yongfu paints its unique picture of the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. In 2009, on the pedestrian bridge named Little North Road, Traub observed Wu Yongfu taking souvenir portraits of African nationals. Thus began a collaboration, which was joined by Zeng in 2011. The thousands of images that accrued to their project achieve a vivid record of a unique socio-economic moment in time.

 Our third selection is taken from the growing archive of Hefei-based street photographer Liu Tao and provides a counterpoint to the image of self as seen in the more formal portraits of the Beijing Silvermine and Little North Road. Liu Tao’s focus is his neighborhood and its residents, whom he snaps in their most unconscious moments, entirely unaware of themselves as they appear in the photographs. Liu Tao’s photographs are the very antithesis of the selfie.

How we choose to look at or see ourselves as the subject of a photographic portrait is a complex act. The diverse, often humorous portraits presented in “Here’s Looking at You” highlight the ways in which this complexity unfolds and how deeply our delight in self-images is rooted.

Plus d’information sur le site du Shanghai Center of Photography  : https://www.scop.org.cn/copy-of-made-in-germany

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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