Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Images of China.

©庄严
©庄严

China is becoming the new hot spot to photograph, but, as I notice, the subject matters are somehow very limited to a few, things like the new high-raisings (many times contrasted with old houses), giant factories, and the mountains of Guilin has been photographed frequently. Certainly, many of them are striking and beautiful, I especially liked the Stephen Wilkes’s China project. But among many of those architectural oriented photographs of China, there is one thing is missing – life. Photographers seem look at China from a distance above, sometimes very much on the surface, as if they wish not to see the reality of the country. In another hand, many local Chinese photographers who are popular in America are very much keen on the political themed (staged) drama. That makes me wonder why people are so obsessed on the past and (near) future of China and simply ignored the real current.

Recently, I received an email from Zhuang Yan (Chinese:庄严), a 22 years old sophomore law student from Heilongjiang University which located in the northest province of China, who is a photography lover saw my website (now in both English and Chinese) and wrote me an email expressing his frustration of the difficulty (rare and expensive) of purchasing 120 film in China, he also sent me some photos of his that he described “just play for fun”. I indeed was very much moved by his photographs. For me, those images may not be the best photographs I've seen, but they remind me of life in China more than any of those stark images of skyscrapers and empty streets. I feel the warmth and emotion, consideration and care from them. I like them because they are come from someone who is experiencing China, not just touring it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A New American Portrait @ Jen Bekman


Update:

Thanks for everyone who showed up for this amazing opening. I know by now you must have read the complete list of attendances of the opening on many other blog (list, list and photo), but I still have to make my list here.

I would like to Thank my friends: Tom, Amy, John, Richard, Seth, Dina, Matthew, Greg, Shane, Michael, Wendy and many many others. Very special Thanks to Jen and Jorg. And finally I met Alec and Zoe, what a night!

©Alec Soth

Opening Reception: Friday June 22 | 6pm - 8pm

A New American Portrait
Curated by Jen Bekman + Jörg Colberg
On View: Friday, June 22 - Friday, August 3, 2007.
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat, Noon-6pm

Participating Artists: Christine Collins | Jen Davis | Benjamin Donaldson | Amy Elkins | Peter Haakon-Thompson | Todd Hido | Alec Soth | Brian Ulrich | Shen Wei

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Portraits I like.

The artists of A New American Portrait exhibition at the Jen Bekman Gallery has been asked for picking out favorite portraits, read the blog here. I had such a hard time to choose one favorite portrait; I just have so many of them, each of them is for a different reason. Initially I was going to choose a more contemporary one, but eventually I decided to settle down with Diane Arbus and Nan Goldin, two very important figures for me as a photographer. But still I would like to share the rest of those legendary portrait photographers that I admire and had inspired me very much. Here are 10 of my favorite portraits by 10 photographers that always on my mind.
©Dieter Appelt
©William Eggleston
©Michael Disfarmer
©August Sander
©Joel-Peter Witkin
©Diane Arbus
©Sally Mann
©Nobuyoshi Araki
©Nan Goldin
©Peter Hujar

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Jail or Chic Hotel ?

©Shen Wei 2006

BTW, my website is updated AGAIN, there is a major change, I have made decision to combine Almost Naked and Float & Fall, which now is just Almost Naked (in a easy Flash format), there is also a small portfolio of landscape and still-life that I photographed in last a couple of years. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spot the Human.


I love Christina Ricci dearly(Buffalo '66, anyone?). But, why? Why? Does she not beautiful enough to avoid some massive applying of cutting, pasting, healing brushing, smoothing, and possible liquefying? She looks like an Asian alien here.

I actually do not against Photoshop a little bit here or there, some celebrities do need that. But someone should have told the retoucher when to stop.

Click here to see a normal looking Christina. (OK, she kinda look a little otherworldly already..., but, still...)

I also watched the movie Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, and I fall in sleep, it is a disappointment, how can anyone make a boring movie of Arbus? I don’t know. So, instead post a movie trailer, here I post a much more interesting clip from the film Freaks, one of Arbus’ favorites.