All posts tagged: China

Sanne de Wilde – The Dwarf Empire/Snow White

Belgian photographer Sanne de Wilde focuses on people on the visual outskirts of society. Her Snow White pictures, which show extremely blonde children, their pale palette range highlighting the otherworldly appearance of her subjects, gained her plenty of international attention straight from her Master’s degree in fine arts photography in 2012. But it was her next series, The Dwarf Empire, that really caught people’s imaginations. The Dwarf Empire is about a home for “77 little people” – little people who earn their keep by performing a song and dance routine twice a day in a theme park that combines entertainment and social care.  Founded by “a tall, rich man who was determined to do something good for the little people”, The Dwarf Empire is a place that perfectly fits the 21st century spirit of Chinese capitalism. In her surprisingly light images, de Wilde mixes pictures of the park attractions with interiors. She goes into the kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms of The Dwarf Empire and, in this sense, the series also acts as a study of the world of Chinese interiors. In the …

2017-07-18T15:31:21+00:00

Chen Wei – Slumber Song

In a London gallery, Chen Wei prepared for his first British show: we see a chair pelted with tomatoes, a flaking fountain of a stooped child covered in coins, a smashed fish tank with a dead goldfish, ravens pick through detritus in an enclosed space with a low ceiling. A tablecloth – once white, now stained – is spread over a long empty table. Televisions stand side by side in tiny private cubicles, a curtain partially covering them. The dialling wheel of a retrograde telephone is padlocked from use. It’s the day before the opening of the Chinese photographer’s Slumber Song at the Ben Brown Fine Arts in Mayfair. We’re minutes away from Oxford Street, and Chen could easily be mistaken for just another student or tourist. But the slight 34-year-old in trainers and a denim jacket is fast-becoming one of China’s most reputable modern artists, with solo exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Munich, Turin, Seville, Basel and now London. “Do you feel nervous?” I asked him. “No,” he said immediately. “Not nervous at all.“ Highly conceptual …

2015-04-17T13:27:19+00:00

Jiehao Su – Borderland

BJP

Chinese photographer Jiehao Su started taking photographs when, at the age of 18, he suddenly lost his mother. “It was the first shock in life,” he says. “It led me to realise the impermanence of the world.” Around this time, a friend gave him his first camera, which became “a way to escape the painful reality.” He quickly became obsessed with photography. He set out on a nomadic journey through Asia and Southern, Eastern and Western China. The aim of the trip was simple, to “seek comfort in [his] heart.” After revisiting familiar and nostalgic places from his past, the series Borderland was born in 2012. The series has two themes: “On one hand, the series is an intimate work,” explains Jiehao. “On the other, it is my perspective of a contemporary China in its process of urbanisation.” Now aged 26, he has since trained at the Beijing Film Academy, and is still working on the project, which he plans to finish this year. He’s already exhibited it internationally; last year it was shown in China and …

2015-04-17T13:47:20+00:00

The Lost Labyrinths of Kowloon Walled City

Not many photographers can claim access to the most densely populated building in the world. Greg Girard most certainly can. Along with long-time collaborator Ian Lambot, the Vancouver-born Girard has spent most of his photographic career documenting, investigating and recording the colossal phenomenon that is Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City; transforming it into the infamous icon it is today. Demolished in 1994, the former Qing dynasty fortress defied its historical confinement through human ingenuity, housing an estimated 33,000 people within the space of just one single city block. The project arose through a chance encounter. “I stumbled across it,” Girard says. “I had heard of it years previously, but never seen a picture of the place or met any who had been there. “One night I was photographing near Hong Kong’s old international airport, when I came round a corner and saw this big thing that was so different from anything else, that it had to be the walled city”. Girard spent five years capturing the anarchic architecture of the walled city. His images expose …

2015-04-17T14:06:51+00:00

BJP Staff