Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Musings from someone who sees stories everywhere.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

chinese photography

IT"S NOT IT _ TOOL (Chu Chu/OFOTO/Tasveer)

I recently had the pleasure of viewing an exhibition of contemprorary photogrpahy from China. One of the most ancient and progressive civilisations in the world, China is surrounded by an aura of mystery. Making giant strides in economic growth and technological progress, China continues to remain enigmatic to the rest of the world in many ways. An exhibition of the work of six contemporary Chinese photographers, which has been made possible by Glenfiddich, Tasveer and OFOTO Gallery, Shanghai, seeks to throw fresh light on the complex culture of China today.

Chu Chu’s series, ‘It’s Not it – Tool’, for example, shows everyday objects such as a wok, a spanner, scissors and a hammer from unusual perspectives, encouraging viewers to perceive them as objects of art transcending their mundane functionality. These larger-than-life images in black and white shades encourage an appreciation of their forms, rendering the familiar with fresh aesthetic appeal. Viewing these objects from unusual angles and perspectives, one wonders about the human stories behind the people who created and used them.
China is the world’s most populous country. Yet people are conspicuous by their absence in most of these photographs. What we see is things they have created and used; homes, skyscrapers, elevated roadways, tools and objects of daily use. Through these images, these Chinese photographers are exploring and responding to cultural and economic sea changes sweeping their land, and their effects on their deep-rooted cultural values. Works such as these have intrinsic artistic value. They do not pose direct criticism or political challenges, but are suggestive of wider issues, urging the viewer to ask far reaching questions and seek answers.  My detailed article is  published in Sunday Herald

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