Chinese Photographer Wang Qingsong "Collides" with International Center for Photography

Posted by David Ozanich — 31 Jan 2011


The International Center for Photography opened a show by Beijing artist Wang Qingsong. From the New York Times review:

The current show is Mr. Wang's biggest presentation in the United States so far, though at just a dozen photographs and three videos it's a bit of a tease. It leaves you wanting to see more from this gimlet-eyed artist -- and from the Center of Photography.

The curator Christopher Phillips, who organized the show, links Mr. Wang to Western photographers and painters like Gregory Crewdson and the Weimar-era satirist George Grosz. Other Westerners that may come to mind are Andreas Gursky, for his hyper-detailed depictions of unchecked globalism, and Thomas Demand, whose photographs of meticulously constructed paper-and-cardboard environments make fictions of "real" political events.

But it seems disingenuous to talk about the staged photograph, in this context, without acknowledging its Socialist Realist history. Government censorship is another subject left untouched in the show, even as the art world digests news about the destruction of the artist Ai Weiwei's studio in Shanghai this month. (Mr. Wang, though less outspoken than Mr. Ai, has in the past been questioned by the police and has had negatives confiscated.)

The show, "Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide," is on view until May 8th in New York.

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