Alina Lebedeva (Алина Лебедева)

Interview with Alina Lebedeva


- Alina, that means to you photo?

For me, photography - is primarily a means of expression. Every creative person has a need for activity, self-expression, in creation.
To me it means a creation. Moreover, taking for himself, I do not set any goals. Importance of freedom of feelings. Watch man and catch interesting moments for me. Any creative shooting I spend only for the purpose of having fun.
- What about the money?
In this case it is secondary. They may appear, can not be displayed. That is, it is not done by any bets. If I had a goal to earn, I probably would have rented something else.
- Photography for you today - is the work?
For me, this is a good extra income, in terms of the material, and my creativity when it comes to the domestic.
- And you would like it to become your profession?
No. Because otherwise I would have to meet the market. I do not want to be dependent on this. Modern art I probably would not close. I see it in most cases shocking. Shocking is designed to surprise the viewer. Whether he wants to come back to this again - not a fact. It is already learned. Go back to what touches that eye-catching, that velvet and soft touch eye, which causes feelings inside, not screaming outside. I think, in our time, this is really not enough. I still for the beauty and inner content, though it is not always fashionable.

- what do you do in your free time
I sleep, eat. (Laughs.) I have my old job, which gives me a small income. But give it up I do not want to, because it is a stable help.

- But still, if you do not want to give up this work and devote himself entirely to photography?
If you care for me in the photo would mean immersion in an activity that I do not want to do, then definitely not. If it will not contradict me, I'll be glad. I just know all of this industry from the inside, and sometimes I want to be protected from this. And that rest during their creative filming.

- And are there  photographers whose work you like?
Sally Mann, Sarah Moon, Paolo Roversi, the early works of Lindberg.

- There is an opinion that Alina Lebedeva - a Russian Roversi. You agree with this?
Yeah, I heard it. I can not even talk about this story. Early in his career, I post the photos on various websites. Once I saw them at one of his works comment "Poversi." At that time, I do not say nothing to say, so I decided to search the Internet. When I saw pictures of him, it was very impressed! His aesthetic is so close to me that has never met a one photographer. Somewhere there is a dear soul!
- I know that you know personally with Rovers. What would u say about him?
Sincere. He is like he is. He does not play. I think that if the person is self-sufficient you are, he is simple. 

- Alina, I noticed that  you often shoot women.
Yes, it is. I take my girls just because they are close to me by spirit. In the creative set, I just rented display itself. But this does not mean that I'm doing a self-portrait. I just create people in such way as  I want to see them.

- You like shooting nude models, in your projects.  what is the reason of it?
Clothes - this extra information, which only interferes with the pictures. For me the main show is the inner world of man. Creativity for me is self-expression, I'm not interested nude because of the anatomical details. I need a natural expression of the sensual nature of man, his honesty, vulnerability, a man as he is, he is in himself, without reference to a person of any age, fashion or time.

- How often do you shoot for yourself?
Maybe once a month, maybe two. No laws. Sometimes i calm down for a while, sometimes spontaneously people coincide with me,  I'm glad. Always done and do not do it often, because sense of hunger is  very important for the creativity, satiety reduces sensitivity, and interesting people are not too much.

- Alina, viewing your work, I want to note that you have a lot of beautiful models. Do you find girls to shoot, or model seek you themselves?
Always different. I'm often written with a request to take pictures, but write mostly those who I'm not very interested. I do not often find a suitable person for the shooting, so I try to keep already tested models or sometimes accidentally stumble on something new and exciting.

- What is important for you in model?
The word "model" I would not use in my photography, rather it is - a man, woman, girl, whatever, but at least the character. "Model" - this is for me, the notion of business, it does not apply to creativity.
First, I pay attention on face. It is important that human eyes were not empty. Also, this person should share my views on creativity. I write to her and ask he which of my work she likes. If she said that she liked my work photographs of all the models in clothes, wearing makeup, and other beautiful glamor, naturally, I do not want to make photographs of them. If she chooses the pictures that I most enjoy and relevant for me now, so we go great with it and be able to do some shooting.

- Do you meet the girls before shooting?
No. But why?
- Then you can see the person to know how she looks like
Yes, I agree. I know that many photographers do so. I'm just very lazy, I guess. I do not want the extra time out of the house. People in conversation once, but when he stands in front of the camera, it is quite different. So I do not need contact with the girl before shooting.  Sometimes it is enough for me to drink tea with her in the studio before shooting and I understand what she is in life, not the front of the lens. Any creative photography with a new model - is a risk. This risk may be justified, but maybe not. But it's worth it!
- Tell me how the shooting took place?
If I make something for myself, I do not make plans, never, and I have no idea or have intended. I'm just starting watching  the man. For me mood and condition is important. That's it. The most important is to grab the second which i like.
- How much time does the photoshoot take?
Always different. If a person is not moving and closed, at least two hours. And if the person is closed, three or four hours.
- What light do you use when shooting?
Only constant. I do not like breaking something. It prevents me from concentrating on the essentials, and I love to shoot at apertures.
- Where are your creative photography?
Some shooting I spend at home, but often shoot in his studio.
- Do you have your own studio?
It does not belong only to me. I take it off with a few photos. This is a small basement room with no windows, where there is very cold and wet.
- Alina, all your pictures are understated and blurry. Why so?
I just have bad eyesight. (Laughs.)
- So do you sometimes focus wrong?
This also happens.
Laying out your photos in LJ, you are accompanied by their tex. And for what?
In fact, all this is not related to each other. It happens that you  are sitting at night, and thoughts are coming to you. I took them and recorded. That's it.
They, of course, may be combined with photos in the posts, but it is not necessarily so.
- And finally I would like to know about your latest commercial work for the company Grishko. I know that they recently Oleg Tityaev shot for them. Why did they turn it to you? How did they choose such an unusual shooting?
I myself strange has strange feeling when I received from them the proposal. It happened all so. The owner of the company found on the internet one of my photos (it was a creative mode). He wanted to buy it. We decided to meet and discuss everything. In the end, he offered to drop advertising in foreign markets. Topic shooting was free.
I note that it was one of those cases where the customer comes to the photographer. This is the most pleasant, but, unfortunately, it happens rarely.

More Photos

Sergey Chilikov


Sergey Chilikov is a Russian photographer born in Kilemary, Mari Republic, in 1953. He has graduated from the Mari Pedagogical Institute, ultimately obtaining an MA in Philosophy in 1983. He started photographing in 1973, at a time when the Soviet Union frowned on the notion of photography as artwork.  In 1976-1991 Chilikov lectured at the Yoshkar-Ola University. In reaction, Chilikov distilled into his photography both his personal obsessions and absurd observations of his country . Chilikov's series of photographs bring us a different vision of Central Russia revealed through his encounters with people.  In 1993 he’s published a book on Russian philosophy, “The Owner Of a Thing, Or the Anthology Of Subjectivity”.
The resulting images are staged in the most unlikely ways, and full of a characteristic dry visual humor. Locals pose in their villages simultaneously revealing and accentuating the austere surroundings. Occupiers of socialist flats pose nude amidst the outdated and garishly decorated interiors. These playful scenes often combine recurring erotic motives and dreamlike color. Chilikov's Russia is a land unaltered by the drastic collapse of the Soviet Union and populated by characters that cross the line from the traditional to the sensual.

Chilikov’s photography career has started in 1976 in the Fact group (S. Chilikov, Y. Evlampiev, V. Voetsky, E. Likhosherst, V. Mikhaylov). Soon he has become the leader of non-conformist photography in his region. Together with a group of like-minded individuals, he organized exhibitions and festivals; he managed to co-exist quite peacefully with the official photography organizations of the Soviet time. In 1980-1989, Chilikov organized the Analytical Photo Exhibitions (‘Yoshkar-Ola biennale’), and the annual open-air photo festival on Kundysh River. In 1988 he’s participated in the final exhibition of the Fact group at Na Kashirke exhibition hall (Moscow).
Since 1989 Chilikov has been working on a multitude of projects involving different towns of the former Soviet Union. His series, entitled ‘Photo Provocations’, ‘Countryside Glam’, ‘The Beach’, ‘Gambling’, ‘Philosophy of a Journey’, and others, depict the latent eroticism of people in the countryside, that appears even more vital when it contrasts with the depressing surroundings. Sergey Chilikov’s brilliant and playful photographs, full of typically Russian humor and self-criticism, are a feast for the eye. He is considered to be one of today’s most influential and creative contemporary Russian photographers.




Victor Bulla


Victor Bulla, son of the famous official photographer of the Russian Tsar Court Karl Bulla, was born in 1883, graduated from the exclusive private "English School" in St. Petersburg in 1899 and received extensive photographic training in Germany. After his return to Russia, Victor and his brother Alexander joined Karl's family's photographic agency, which held exclusive rights to produce official photographs of the Tsar's Court, government and military activities. 
Victor received independent recognition as a photographic reporter during the Russian-Japanese war 1904-05, when, as the 19-years old ensign, he became military photographer with the Siberian Reserve Brigade. He participated in the battle of the Dalin Pass and Mukden, actions at Erdagou, Zunio, Sandepu, Lanafan, Putilov Hill, in General Mishchenko’s raid and other key events of the war. Victor's front-line reports were extensively published in the most popular illustrated magazines "Niva" (The Field), "Iskry" (Sparks) and major Russian newspapers and reprinted all over the world. Victor frequently took the duties of the medical assistant on the battlefield, and for his actions was later awarded by Silver Medal "For Courage" on the St. George's ribbon. 
Later Bulla produced extensive photo galleries of the First World War, Russian Revolution, and Civil War, becoming in effect the official photographer of the early Soviet Government.
Together with his brother Alexander he participated in various photographic exhibitions, but with his Catholic and Estonian heritage. émigré father and close connections with prominent political figures of the ancien régime, he became more and more considered as undesirable and by 1935 was forced to transfer the most part of the family's photographic archives (more than 132 500 negatives, with later additions 200 000 in total) to the government archives. 
However this surrender of the Bulla's family priceless photographic treasures didn't help him to evade repressions of the 1930s. Victor Bulla was arrested on June 23 1938 on false accusations, made to confess in espionage against USSR under torture and was shot in October 1938. His name was erased from all official sources and his pictures of Revolution and Soviet leaders Lenin, Zinovyev, Kamenev, Stalin, and others, were continued to be published without any reference to his name up to Gorbachev's Perestroika in the second half of 1980s.
After the beginning of World War I, Bulla returned to work in his father's photo agency shooting numerous events of 1917-1918, including the documentary film on the February Revolution of 1917, the "Chronicle of the revolution in Petrograd."  Bulla then photographed the events of the October 1917 uprising and directed the photography of the Petrograd Soviet.  
in 1928 Bulla and his brother submitted 30 photographs to the exhibition "Soviet Photograhy over 10 years," where he was awarded with an honorary diploma.  In 1939, Bulla was arrested following a denunication from an employee of the Bulla photo agency.  He was accused of being an 'Enemy of the people,' and was exiled to the Far East, where he died in 1938.

Karl Bulla

February 26, 2012 born in Leobschütz in Prussia on February 26, 1855 (or 1853 -- his exact birth year is unclear), Carl Oswald Bulla was a prominent Russian photographer, often referred as the "father of photo-reporting in Russia".
In 1865 Bulla ran away from his family in Russia, to St. Petersburg, where 10 years later he opened his first photographic studio, and in 1886 he received the permit from the St. Petersburg Police allowing him to take pictures anywhere outside his studio and to become more involved into photography of city life.
At the end of the 19th century newspaper printing technology allowed the publishing of photographs. In 1894 Russian Department of Post and Telegraphs also allowed use of postcards. Both events significantly increased the demand for Bulla's images. At that time, his advertisment read: "The oldest photographer-illustrator Karl Bulla photographs for the illustrated magazines anything and anywhere without limits from the landscape or the building, indoor or outdoor day or night at the artificial light".
In 1916 Bulla passed the management of his firm "Bulla and sons" to his sons Alexander and Victor and moved to Ösel Island (currently Saaremaa, Estonia). He lived a quiet life there, photographing the local ethnographic material and teaching Estonian boys the basics of photography until his death in 1929.
In 1935 the son of Karl, Victor Bulla donated to the State Archive of Leningrad District 132,683 negatives of Bulla's photographs. The archive grew and now consists of more than 200,000 negatives of works by Karl Bulla and his sons.

Alexander Rodchenko (Александр Родченко)


Alexander Rodchenko is perhaps the most important avant-garde artist to have put his art in the service of political revolution. In this regard, his career is a model of the clash between modern art and radical politics. He emerged as a fairly conventional painter, but his encounters with Russian Futurists propelled him to become an influential founder of the Constructivist movement. And his commitment to the Russian Revolution subsequently encouraged him to abandon first painting and then fine art in its entirety, and to instead put his skills in the service of industry and the state, designing everything from advertisements to book covers. His life's work was a ceaseless experiment with an extraordinary array of media, from painting and sculpture to graphic design and photography. Later in his career, however, the increasingly repressive policies targeted against modern artists in Russia led him to return to painting.

Rodchenko's art and thought moved extremely rapidly in the 1910s. He began as an aesthete, inspired by Art Nouveau artists such as Aubrey Beardsley. He later became a Futurist. He digested the work of Vladimir Tatlin, and the Suprematism of Kazimir Malevich. By the decade's end he was pioneering Constructivism. This experimental inquiry into the elements of pictorial and sculptural art produced purely abstract artworks that separate out the components of each image - line, form, space, color, surface, texture, and the work's physical support. Constructivism encouraged a new focus on the tangible and material aspects of art, and its experimental spirit was encouraged by a belief that art had to match the revolutionary transformations then taking place in Russian politics and society.
Rodchenko's commitment to the values of the Revolution encouraged him to abandon painting in 1921. He embraced a more functional view of art and of the artist, and he began collaborating with the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky on a series of advertising campaigns. Their work not only introduced modern design into Russian advertising, but it attempted to sell the values of the Revolution along with the products being promoted. This particular union of modern design, politics, and commerce has occasionally inspired advertisers in the West since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Photography was important to Rodchenko in the 1920s in his attempt to find new media more appropriate to his goal of serving the revolution. He first viewed it as a source of preexisting imagery, using it in montages of pictures and text, but later he began to take pictures himself and evolved an aesthetic of unconventional angles, abruptly cropped compositions, and stark contrasts of light and shadow. His work in both photomontage and photography ultimately made an important contribution to European photography in the 1920s.



Chien-Chi Chang


Chien-Chi Chang was born in Taiwan in 1961, is a member of the Magnum agency since 1995 and currently lives between New York and Taipei. born in a middle class family in Taiwan, he studied at the universities of Soochow and Indiana in 1990. Later he worked in the Seattle Times (1991 - 1993) and the Baltimore Sun (1994-1995). He has photographed the lives of illegal immigrants in New York, especially in Chinatown , but is also known for documenting his homeland. Family pressure to marry led him to make a unique wedding photography work. Won the Foundation for photography humanistic W. Eugene Smith in 1999.
In his work, Chein-Chi Chang makes manifest the abstract concepts of alienation and connection. With its collection of portraits "The Chain", made ​​in a mental institution in Taiwan, caused a sensation at the Venice Biennale (2001) and Sao Paulo Biennale (2002). The striking, almost life-size photographs of partners of patients impacted literally chained by their strength. Chang has treated the theme of marriage in two books - "I Do I Do I Do" (2001), a collection which shows boyfriends and brides in Taiwan and in "Double Happiness" (2005), a harrowing description of the business of selling brides in Vietnam - The family and cultural ties are also the subject of an ambitious project initiated in 1992. For 17 years, Chang has photographed the lives of Chinese immigrants forked in New York's Chinatown, along with their wives and families at home in Fujian.
The ties of family and of culture are also the themes of an ambitious project begun in 1992. For 20 years, Chang has photographed the bifurcated lives of Chinese immigrants in New York’s Chinatown, along with those of their wives and families back home in Fujian. A work in progress, “China Town” was hung at the National Museum of Singapore in 2008 as part of a mid-career survey, “Doubleness.” Chang’s investigation of the ties that bind one person to another draws on his own deeply divided immigrant experience. Born in Taiwan in 1961, Chang studied at Soochow University (B.A. 1984) and at Indiana University (M.S. 1990). Chang joined Magnum in 1995 and became a full member in 2001.

Lu Nan


Lu Nan is China’s foremost documentary photographer, his iron grip on reality is leavened by a feel for the lyrical to be found in even the most disturbing of images… 
This article will not only examine the sources of this lyricism, but will also suggest, with reference to several of his best known works, that the evocation of a privileged relationship to time, most especially to the showing of the future, lies at the heart of his gift. 
Perhaps there is little that more inwardly disturbing than the lives of the inmates of mental institutions. The images collected in Lu Nan, The Forgotten People: The State of Chinese Psychiatric Wards (Intergallery, Beijing, 2008), explore and reveal these lives and the conditions in which they are lived. Conditions no bleaker than those depicted in ‘Mental Hospital, Heilongjiang, China, 1989’ (Pl. 7). The darkness at the end of the corridor -also the end point of the picture’s lines of sight- does not bode well for the future of this inmate. If the background of an image can be read as a form of symbolic temporality, as a pointer to the past or future, then his foreseeable future (as well as an unknown portion of his past) would appear to lie within the confines of this institution. Shrouded in a darkness untouched by any medical enlightenment.
In the now famous image ‘Mental Hospital, Sichuan, China, 1990’ (Pl. 39), is it the past or the future (again read as presented in the blurred background of the picture) that is forgotten or unknown and counterpointed by the ‘eternal present’ of the masque in play in the picture’s foreground? This question is undecidable – that is, we may read it both ways – this effect, of a blurring, occlusion, or uncertainty, of the past and the future (together with the two main significant features of the foreground, the individual’s mask-like expression and the ritually symbolic ring of inmates, both instances offering a closed-off final meaning) is nevertheless part of what makes this a great photograph. 
If there is something more disturbing than a mental hospital with its reminder of the fragility of our sanity, the ephemerality of our sense of self, it is the remainder of our mortality, the fragility, brevity and provisional nature of our very existence. In Lu Nan, On the Road: The Catholic Church in China (Intergallery, Beijing, 2008) we are provided with just such a glimpse of the one event in our future which is predictable: our death – along with one kind of response to the dilemma posed by this fact; the religious positing of an otherworldly after-life.
‘A Corpse, Shaanxi, China, 1995’ (Pl. 55) is a beautiful picture replete with classic, painterly, overtones, bearing sublimated reminders of our shared fate as human beings. Here we can see how black and photography mimics the act of mourning making reality palatable by its representation as a form of lyrical sadness. The dark spaces in the image allow us to project, to be reminded of, our uncertainty as to our future. An uncertainty which hinges upon an ineluctable certainty.

By contrast, in ‘A Child’s Funeral, Yunnan, China, 1993’ (Pl. 16), the framed grave space, centre-ground, a brutal wound in the earth’s ground, is the, just of-centered, focal point of the picture – and so by implication the hole into which we are all heading. The background may also be read as a future and also otherworldly destination if conceived as the promised land of Christian religion, the heaven that, just maybe, awaits us on the ‘otherside’.
If the ultimate symbolic end of the deixis, in ‘Worshippers walking towards the consecrated land, Shaanxi, China, 1992’ (Pl. 3), the ‘pointing-up’, or movement upwards, into light, in this picture is the realm of the sacred and the otherworldly, then, this end is not shown, or not yet achieved. Indeed, in the world as depicted by this image, such an end still lies in the future of the image’s participant-characters (and so of ourselves as we enter the world of the photograph by lining-up our present with that shown in the image). And so face together what comes with the congregation who are headed ‘up’ the hill, real and symbolic (and away from us, who perhaps follow, or if not literally follow -for this would be impossible- nevertheless ‘follow’ in the sense of ‘understand’) moving towards this very real and potently symbolic end…. 
By contrast to the emphasis on last things in the images discussed above: if we turn to Lu Nan, The Four Seasons: the Everyday Life of Tibetan Peasants (Intergallery, Beijing, 2007) and look at ‘Mother and Daughter, Tibet, 2001’ (Pl. 78) we find that quite another set of feelings about the future awaits us. For it is impossible to see the image of a newborn without our thinking of the realm of possibility, of the child’s potential, of the future in an open, positive light…. 
Also from The Four Seasons: the Everyday Life of Tibetan Peasants is the now famous picture of peasants in the fields: ‘A Family Resting From Labor, Tibet, 1999’ (Pl. 63). In what is primarily a documentary image, the painterly elements quickly come to the fore; what ever its origin, the attention to the formal arrangement of the content (figures of peasants in a rural landscape) immediately marks this image out as one with the potential to become ‘art’ (so bridging the traditional divisions between art photography and documentary photography). This ‘art’ element is reinforced by the depicted content’s relationship to the past, its existence as a citation of the tradition of rural life, the peasant in (western) art history; the depiction of back-breaking work in the fields, and the attendant poverty). This combination of the painterly and documentary, is here most obviously (because found in one of his most beautiful images) the source of Lu Nan’s individual style; the combination of documentary reference or intent with the lyrical expressiveness due to painterly arrangement of content (so increasing not only the image’s significance and also the degree of formal beauty due to the foregrounding of form). We feel we are (as if) before a painting.
But paintings are usually in some combination of colour. The image before us is in black and white. The result is that we have a clash of the (colour) painting tradition and a particularly photographic form of expression. A kind of dissonance, or seeing double, as two very different frames of reference compete for our attention. The effect is one of standing before a somehow ‘de-presenced’ painting (due to its lack of colour): or, conversely, of a photograph with an added ghostly dimension (the uncanny addition of feeling that occurs with the appearance of a pattern, or formal arrangement, within an otherwise realist work of art, like the presence of a natural event as a symbol in realist literature). A kind of translation resulting in sense of elevated reality – and our privilege to be witness to its epiphany.
Which finally is the ‘classic’ feel that is the sole possession of black and white photography.  The discovery of a latent lyricism and sense of un-improvability whose effect is the transformation of genre from documentary to classic; a transformation in seeing and classification which may have taken other documentary photographs decades to achieve in the West. Of photographs which begin as avowedly ‘art’ photographs (if you like, the Steichen/Stiglitz tradition) and are consumed as ‘classic’ photographs, that is they are popular as prints and as posters, we may say that they usually do not usually offer us such a persistent sense of their existence as record. So we are returned to the riddle at the heart of the survival and continuing success of black and white photography: the success and meaning of the ‘classic’ black and white photograph (a question best answered with reference to its constituting moment, its semi-present, lacking colour, mode of expression which signals a past referent as well as a past survived, so become.. a ‘classic’).  Art as the cure for incurable, the memorialisation of a pain which must not be forgotten but needs to be lived with…and none more so than in the case of the depiction of art’s apparent anti-thesis: labour. 
In another implied contrast, this time to received images in the popular realm, to certain tourism-type images, as to other forms of ethnic-exoticism or exotic ‘othering’, we see in ‘Grandmother and Granddaughter, Tibet, 2001’ (Pl. 90) also in The Four Seasons: the Everyday Life of Tibetan Peasants a non-exoticising image taken from Tibetan culture. Here perhaps largely because in black and white, with the colour, of ‘local colour’ excluded, so excluding such ‘colourful’ meanings, we see an image resisting stereotypes (insofar as a passive image can resist our human attempts to find significance through stereo-typology). This is a classic anthropological documentary image, showing documentary force; a memorializing in the present: but which may also include lyric feeling (or otherwise ‘classicizing’ elements due to the effect of formal arrangements in black and white) This drawing on a sense of the past -by emphasizing the pastness of the image content- may indicate the passing of a way of life. (This image, along with the collection of which it is a part, also avoids the other cliché, now becoming popular with ethno-photographers, a ‘high art’ form of the depiction of others, as a form of ‘authenticism’ depicting ‘others’ as possessors of ancient wisdom, in true touch with Nature). 
The sense of the image as poetry, the lyricism which such a signature feature of Lu Nan’s work is in part due to composition (to the positioning of elements in a frame), in part to the use of space as time, as symbolic temporality: at times referring us back to our memories; at others pointing us in the direction of the future – at still another time pointing us right out of time… into eternity…. Time, temporality, our sense of always being positioned between a past and a future, perhaps the closest element to our moods, is never far when we are faced with the emotional content of the image; with what it is when the baldly representational is transformed (often in spite of the depicted content) into art.


Ying Yefu

Born in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China in 1980, Ying Yefu also known as Shen Zhe Ming Yi started with a passion for painting in his early childhood. He persists in this passion using aspects of memories, creating thoughtful independent ink paintings, silkscreen prints, and design based artworks froma very personal and unique angle.



Biography
·         2011Solo show "Anesthetic", ART LABOR Gallery
·         "Fine Art Asia 2011", ART LABOR Gallery
·         Group show "High 5", ART LABOR Gallery
·         Sh Contemporary 2011, Shanghai, ART LABOR Gallery
·         2010Group show "Post Traditions - Enlarge the Carve", Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern
·         Solo show "Stretch", Wenzhou Seventh Art Center
·         Art Solo show “Sweet & Sour”, Shanghai ART LABOR Gallery
·         Solo show “Appetizer”, Taipei Chi-Wen Gallery
·         2009Shanghai MoCA Animamix Biennale 2009 – 2010
·         Contemporary art exhibition “Scattered Time”, Shanghai Time Square
·         Solo show “No Show”, Shanghai ART LABOR Gallery
·         Group show “No Subject”, Shanghai Eastlink Gallery
·         “8888 Group Show”, Shanghai Andrew James Gallery
·         2008Group show “Shanghailand: Countercurrents in the Mainstream”, San Francisco
·         Shanghai MoCA Envisage II – Butterfly Dream
·         Solo show “Festival of Restraints”, Shanghai ART LABOR Gallery
·         Group show “Drifting”, Shanghai Eastlink Gallery
·         2007Get It Louder, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou
·         Group show “Neo-wave Contemporary Art Exhibition”, Shanghai Eastlink Gallery


Tang Zhigang


Tang Zhigang was born in Kumming in 1959 and currently lives in Beijing. and teaches oil painting at the Yunan Institiue of Fine Arts. He spent many years with the Chinese Army. At one time Tang was an student of advanced studies at the Central Academy of Fine Art but in 1989 he graduated from the PLA Institute for fine arts. Tang Zhigang worked for the military as a chlildrens art educator. Tang Zhigang uses children as his main subject matter. In many cases the children are dressed up as military, political, or very important people. His message is mainly that China is being ruled by children. " Because it's good to remember that people are children too.
Notable solo and group exhibitions:
2008 "Beijing - Athens, Contemporary Art from China", Greece;
2007 "Never Grow Up, Tang Zhigang: 1977-2007, Retrospective", Hyundai doArt Gallery, Beijing; 
2005 "Chinese Fairytale", Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong; 
2004 "Tang Zhigang", Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris, "The Army Show", New York; 
2003 "From China with Art", National Gallery of Jakarta, Indonesia; 
2002 Basel International Art Fair, Basel; 
2000 "Chinese Avant-garde Exhibition", De La Vilette Museum, Paris, "Children Meeting", Hanart T Z Gallery, Hong Kong; "Moment: Chinese Contemporary Art", University of Chicago Art Centre, Chicago.
Tang has captured the absurdity of the bureaucracy of institutional life in the most charming manner. The message is succinct without being banal, and the style is as easy and fluid as the subject matter dictates. Tang uses the technique of realism usually associated with social cause and egalitarianism; we think of Soviet art and public-minded American painter after the Depression. It is a style accessible to the common man, mindful of his dignity whatever his station in life. It also suggests serious-mindedness, which becomes the poker-faced, dead-pan, tongue-in-cheek flip of Tang's joke.  
For Tang, the laugh is as much on himself as on others. He was born into a family serving in the military. His mother was a prison warden and he grew up with convicts and soldiers, familiar with both the ones who discipline and ones being disciplined. He served in the army as a career soldier, working mainly as an artist in the propaganda division until his dismissal a year ago. He was trained in the system, knows its machinery and sees the human dimension beneath the rules. From the late 1980s, Tang's works have focused on the incongruities and absurdities that put the spark of humanity into a regimented life. He probably had the last laugh when he was finally dismissed in 1996. Now he is an artist, and teaches children's art classes. 

Lin Hairong

Lin Hairong’s paintings resound with a profound sense of peace. Upon the simplicity of her pure colour backgrounds, child-like figures, depicted in subdued tones, are shown in a variety of poses that take influence from cultural-revolutionary imagery and other Chinese and western historical sources. The sense of nostalgia that this evokes is played off against the subtle satire revealed in the titles of the paintings. Serving as a spring board for a more thorough understanding of Lin Hairong’s works, many titles are reiterated revolutionary phrases or lines taken from classical poetry. With the distortion of her figures, her two dimensional painting style and these historical references Lin Hairong appears to have blurred the line between memory and reality, past and present.
Executed in her fine, delicate painting technique, Lin Hairong’s compositions are devoid of any superfluous decoration and manage to capture the serenity and harmony of life’s quiet moments; those moments of tranquility that are all too rare in this “age (that) we live in (which) is too quick to change.” (Lin Hairong)
 
Born in 1975, Lin Hairong graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Henan Normal University in 1999. She then went on to study at the Oil Painting Department of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute where she graduated with a Masters degree in 2006. The winner of a prize for excellence in the Dragonair Emerging Artist Awards, Lin Hairong has gained increasing international attention and has most recently held a solo exhibition (‘Attitudes’) at the ChinaToday Gallery in Brussels. Today she lives and works in Chongqing.  

Shi Mohan (史墨涵)


Shi Mohan jocularly calls herself a life Illustrator. Pleasantly and sensitively, she documents the nity-gritty of her own life, portraying many bizarre and outlandish thoughts and desires on the canvas.  


1983 Born in Shenyang
2006 Graduated From Luxun Academy of Fine Arts
Solo Exhibition
2012 Trifle, ART SEASONS, Beijing
2011 Trifle, ART SEASONS, Singapore
Group Exhibition
2012 Ginseng, ART SEASONS, Beijing
2011 10th Anniversary, ART SEASONS, Singapore
2010 Small Is Beautiful, ART SEASONS, Beijing
Resonance, ARTSEASONS, Beijing
SH Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai
Sungshin Women's University Show, Nan-Hyang
Buildin, Seoul ASYAAF, Seoul



Zhou Mi


THE ROAD GOES ON AND ON...

When I was very little, there was an old folding camera left in a forgotten drawer at a corner of the house. I never saw dad use it. Even though no one explained to me what it was for, I always felt an overwhelming curiosity towards that little black box. In the same dust-filled drawer, I also found a piece of glass that was yellow and round. I kept it in my pocket. On my way to and from school, I often took it out and looked at the sun through this golden eye, getting lost in that magical light. Little did I know then that such a small black box would become my most loyal companion on the long road to come. Later, it became an essential part of my daily life. 
In 1984, I came into possession of my first camera. Whenever I had time, I looked through its lens at the China I knew: water lilies in the park, sunset over Yang-zi River, and the crowd on the street. After arriving at the United States in 1995, I started to focus my lens on people. I became mystified by the various characters I met. Looking at their eyes, I wanted to read their mind; watching their passing silhouette, I wanted to search for their origin and destiny. In every click of the shutter, I throw out a fishnet from my soul, capturing all that moved me, and carrying them home as my new found treasure. The moment is frozen in time; eternity is now possible. 
People, is the ultimate subject matter, because of its complexity, diversity, and its endless possibilities. I see the mark of the material world on each individual; in the material world itself, I see the trace left by each individual's consciousness, that which is formless, but also timeless. I record them in my mind as well as on film. I attempt to record people, their environment, and the particular atmosphere that moved me. I often think an environment without humans is dull and soulless; similarly, a human being independent of his environment appears pale and lost. I attempt to express the fluid nature of time in a 2-dimentional media - a still picture. My pictures are very personal. At the time when they record the reality around me, they also record my thoughts and my mood. I enjoy traveling alone and experiencing the wonders of nature and society. There were moments, however, when camera and film were rendered useless, while my soul remained receptive and the exposure at its utmost clarity. 
In 1991, on the road to Tibet, I hailed a truck, asking the driver to drop me off at Lhasa. As the truck climbed up the Tibetan highland, we were surrounded by the snow covered mountain peaks, and humbled by the immense, wild power of their beauty. The macho-looking Tibetan truck driver turned on his tape recorder, a soprano's lone voice filled the small cabin with a Tibetan folk lore, no words were spoken as we took turns gulping down strong sorghum wine. During that journey, I didn't take out my camera, because my lens could not hold such absolute purity and immensity... 
During the same year, I couldn't get into Xi-Shuang-Ban-Na due to the lack of an authorized travel permit. Looking for a way to get in illegally, I met a few newly released drug-dealers in a border town bar. They claimed that they could sneak me into the region further up the River of Lan-Cang. That night, we camped by the river side. Out of cautiousness, I tied all my photo equipments and luggage around my body. It was a sleepless night, and not the least because of the bumpy pebbles beneath my sleeping bag. However, as the trip continued, they befriended me, doubled as my porters, and never betrayed me in any small way. During that trip, I didn't take out my camera, because film can not record the complexity of such contrast... 
In 1999, at a Native American tribe of New Mexico, the sun was setting as people started their annual Sun Dance. When the yellow dust rose above their dancing feet, a rainbow colored cloud slowly materialized above us. That moment, I didn't take out my camera, because the shutter can not capture the dance of their spirit... 
When I first stood before the majestic mountains of the Tibetan highland, I realized the vulnerability of human beings. Although we each possess our own world, as the most intelligent creatures of this earth, we are equal and are blessed with the common humanity. Diverse environments created diverse social groups, and various social groups formed this kaleidoscope world. To understand and to know others as I understand and know myself has become the eternal compass in all my travels. I believe that the gap between you and me can only be measured and filled by this understanding. 
Zhou, Mi
Jan.2002. New York