4 years ago
Tapsamai
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Old Chinese - Saana Wang
Hujialou is a centrally located district in Beijing. In her series of the same name, Saana Wang shows an old Chinese neighborhood, a communist-built housing block that is faced with the rapid change of modernization. The houses, once celebrated as the realization of the idea of equality, are today earmarked for demolition and replacement by new buildings. Wang stands thus in a direct line with the tradition of social-critical urban photography. In Wang´s photos of interiors, it is exactly the mostly empty walls with traces left from posters and damage to the plaster that tell of constantly recycled change. Wang wanted to document these vanishing surroundings before they are forgotten. However, at the same time, the photographer´s work contrasts with documentary tradition when she uses the masks of the traditional Beijing opera to transform the residents into fictional characters. As a decisive step towards defamiliarization, she turns the people´s spare living rooms into a stage. More than a purely documentary approach could, this staging and fictionalization of the residents allow us to see them as human beings with dreams, hopes, and expectations. And yet the stylized, painted faces - in which pride, longing, or sheer joy in life can be seen - are only one part of the reductive stage setting. The typical masks allude to a Chinese art form that is rich in tradition but also somewhat anachronistic, clichéd, and likewise threatened with extinction. Through the interplay with the concrete image of the real world - as seen in the everyday clothing, spare furnishings, and props of modern consumer and pop culture such as posters or toys - a picture of contemporary Chinese society emerges that is both nostaligic and fractured.
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5 comments
This is really nice porfolio , It is bring the constract of old Chinese society contracts with the society which moving so fast out there in China soceity.
@alise I did love the constract of the society you pointed out. And isnt it the photograpghy all about :). Bringing something meaningful from a shot of your photo to reflect the true side of the society that sometime you cannot see by your eyes.
@Tapsamai I don't have any particular favorite. I truly enjoy photography of all types: travel, portrait, photojournalism, abstract, food, emotive. But, I would say that some of the photos that touch me the most are the ones that really showcase raw emotion or the reality of a situation. The ones that make you really think for days.