Zhao Bandi, Zhang Dali, Zhu Fadong, Liu Jin, Wang Jinsong, Zhu Ming, Sheng Qi, Wang Qingsong, Liu Wei, Wu Xiaojun, Wu Xiaojun, Bai Yiluo, Liang Yue
Curated by Cydney M. Payton and Julie Seagraves
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Over One Billion Served: New Conceptual Photography from the People’s Republic of China is the first comprehensive exhibition of contemporary Chinese photography and artists in the United States. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Asian Coordinating Council, Denver, Colorado.
Over One Billion Served centers on three themes. In The McDonaldization of China issues of capitalism and consumerism, influences of American culture and products, are explored. Here images speak to westernization, the consequences of globalization, and how capitalism disrupts cultural histories and traditions to create an ethos of anxiety, ambivalence, and a rise in nationalism. Images with brands such as Coke and McDonalds express both the ubiquity and power of Western influence. In Power Politics we see the effects of government policies—one-child families, fast-paced urbanism that disregards historic structures in favor of modernization, public health crisis’ from disease to addiction, lacking environmentalism leading to rampart population, and, in general, repressive politics that frame the social conditions of daily life. Strangers in the Cities represents artists directly responding to China’s economic policies and their profound social and political impacts. Labor force migration from villages and farms to cities alters identity and self-expression to radically transform concepts of individuality within the new metropolis.
Banner Image: Zhang Huan, Family Tree, (detail), 2000, from a series of nine chromogenic prints.
Top Left to Bottom Right: Sheng Qi, Holding Memories, 1989 to present, performance and photographs; Zhu Ming, 8 May 1999, photo souvenir of live performance. Zhang Huan, Pilgrimage, 1998, photo document of live performance. Zhang Huan with Zhu Ming, To Add One Meter to An Anonymous Mountain, 1995, photo document of live performance; Zhang Dali, Demolition of Forbidden City Beijing #63, 1998, photo document; Wang Qingsong, Forum, 2001, photograph; Zhao Bandi, Panda, 1998, photograph; Wang Qingsong, Requesting Buddha Series, 1999, photograph.