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Lu Nan’s Trilogy of Men | Photographer: Lu Nan 呂楠

Lu Nan’s Trilogy of Men | Photographer:  Lu Nan 呂楠 | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it
Lu Nan’s Trilogy of Men: China’s Catholicism & Forgotten People, and 4 Seasons in Tibet

 

Influential Chinese Photographer Lu Nan 呂楠 is a man of mystery, shying away from cameras, the public and publicity. Lu has also been known to hide his name and movements under various pseudonyms. He applied for membership at Magnum Photos under the name Mao Xiaohu.

 

And while Lu once said it didn’t matter who the photographer was that took the pictures (good or bad), it is hard to ignore and not attribute to him his immense body of work, namely the ‘Trilogy’ series which took 15 years to complete. First in the trilogy were Lu’s photographs of patients at China’s mental hospitals titled ‘The Forgotten People, the state of Chinese psychiatric wards’.

 

This was followed by a documentary of the catholic church in China and pilgrimages made by its followers. The last were photographs of peasants in Tibet called ‘Four Seasons’, rumoured to be made whilst Lu was on the run from ‘unfriendlies’. In 2009, Lu also made controversial photographs of prisoners in Northern Myanmar camps.

Photo report's insight:

"Human lives should not be labeled. Labels cover our eyes and make many things invisible to us," Lu Nan said.


Legendary Chinese photographer Lu Nan shook the world with his pictures of people living on the edge of despair.

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Ten Thousand Scrolls | Photographer: Kirk Crippens

Ten Thousand Scrolls | Photographer: Kirk Crippens | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it
“Traveling ten thousand miles is better than reading ten thousand scrolls” is a Chinese proverb that speaks to the heart of Kirk Crippens’ recent portrait project. He was hungry for knowledge of China that he couldn’t get just by reading, so he traveled from his home in the East Bay area to the small city Chinese city of Lishui. With just two words of Mandarin (Ni hao, which means “hello”), he managed to meet hundreds of people who allowed him to photograph them and who took him into their homes and into their confidence. Crippens is one of three photographers (along with Maggie Preston and David Wolf) participating in the 2012 RayKo artists-in-residence program. A joint exhibition is currently on view at the RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco through December 14th, 2012.
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Changsha | Photographer: Rian Dundon

Changsha | Photographer: Rian Dundon | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

“I said I was going to do the first book of China without a picture of Mao in there, but he slipped in in the background,” Mr. Dundon said. “I’ll leave that up to the reader to find.”

Mr. Dundon writes in his introduction to the project on Emphas.is (http://www.emphas.is/web/guest/discoverprojects?projectID=616) about how he sought to make pictures “that didn’t necessarily read as China.” Instead, he presents a personal narrative, an exploration of a city and the region around it.

“There’s a very prescribed version of China that I think Western photographers, or visual people, kind of adhere to,” he said over the phone from Sacramento, where he lives. He wanted to avoid the photographic clichés that often come out of China — masses of people, skyscrapers, the color red, Tiananmen Square, poverty juxtaposed with sleek modernity. It was the only way he felt he could create something honest, “and not this kind of post-colonial, white guy goes to China” project.

He wanted to know people, and to explore those relationships with his photography — as he’d always done in his work.

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Chineses | Photos Liu Zheng 刘铮

Chineses | Photos Liu Zheng 刘铮 | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Liu Zheng est un photographe chinois né en 1969 dans le comté de Wuqiang, province de Hebei. Il passa son enfance dans la ville minière de Datong (province de Shanxi), avant de vivre et de travailler à Beijing.

En 1994, Liu Zheng commença de photographier des moments de vie dans lesquels des personnages chinois typiques ont été rencontrés dans des situations extrêmes et souvent inattendues. La série The Chinese tire le portrait d'une société en butte aux contradictions entre la culture traditionnelle et la modernisation. Elle présente un large échantillonnage de la société et montre les riches, les pauvres, les transsexuels, les mineurs, les acteurs d'opéra, aussi bien que les figures de cire des musées historiques.

De 1991 à 1997, Zheng a travaillé comme reporter pour le Workers’ Daily, un des journeaux chinois les plus lus, dans l'optique de montrer les liens historiques entre la propagande politique et l'idéologie communiste, plutôt que de viser les rapports de la photographie avec la vérité. Il commença de travailler sur le thème des Chinois à un moment de changements explosifs et de développement de l'art contemporain, catalysé par les réformes en cours. Dans ce contexte, Zheng utilise la photographie pour construire une fausse réalité. Les éclairages et les poses de ses photographies au format carré semblent un peu naïfs mais en réalité la mise en scène coexiste avec les éléments spontanés dans toute cette série.

Influencée à la fois par les œuvres de Diane Arbus et d'August Sander, la série The Chinese montre au spectateur une étude personnalisée de la culture chinoise, concentrée sur les aspects psychologiques les plus sombres. Un mélange de dure réalité et de romantisme, d'engagement et de détachement, tente de reconstituer l’histoire des Chinois par ce processus.

 

Publications The Chinese .- Göttingen, Allemagne, Steidl et New-York, International Center of Photography, 2004. (ISBN 3-86521-037-6)

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Trading to Extinction | Photojournalist: Patrick Brown

Trading to Extinction | Photojournalist: Patrick Brown | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Most people hear the term “poaching,” and they think of hunters gunning down endangered species like elephants and rhinos on the plains of Africa. But in many ways the heart of the illegal wildlife trade is not in Africa, but in Asia. It’s in rising countries like China, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia where the demand for illegal wildlife products is strongest, driving the hunting and the trafficking. And it’s in Asia where poaching is still going on in the forests of countries like Burma and Laos, in the last scraps of wilderness in one of the most densely populated parts of the world. Every year it’s estimated that up to 30,000 primates, 5 million birds, 10 million reptile skins and 500 million tropical fish are bought and sold in Asia.

 

That bloody trade is revealed by Patrick Brown’s stark black-and-white photographs, published in his new book, Trading to Extinction. The Bangkok-based Brown spent more than 10 years documenting the underbelly of the illegal wildlife trade in Asia, from ill-equipped rangers patrolling the forests of Thailand to markets in southern China, jam-packed with threatened species. He shows the shadowy smuggling routes that take wildlife products across poorly guarded borders, and shines a spotlight on the sheer inhumanity of man’s treatment of majestic animals like the endangered Indochinese tiger. Brown prowls the markets of Bangkok, where massive ivory elephant tusks—almost surely taken by a poacher—sit in a store window, mute symbols of a murderous trade. Another photograph shows a pile of tiger and snow leopard skins—worth three-quarters ofa million dollars—seized in Thailand’s Chitwan National Park.

 

Money is what drives the illegal wildlife trade, which is now worth as much as $10 billion globally. Brown notes that a poacher who kills a rhino and removes its horn in India gets $350, but that same horn will sell for $1,000 in a nearby market town, and as much as $370,000 once it reaches dealers in Hong Kong, Beijing or the Middle East. It’s little wonder that international criminal syndicates have gotten into the wildlife trade, which is now estimated to be the fifth most lucrative illegal enterprise in the world. Some of that money flows to international terrorists as well, making wildlife trafficking a security threat, as well as a conservation one.

 

The good news is that the world is beginning to get serious about wildlife trafficking. On Feb. 11 the U.S. announced a new national strategy for combating poaching, as well as a ban on commercial imports and exports of ivory. Last week British Prime Minister David Cameron hosted the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, the highest-level summit ever on wildlife trafficking. Bringing a halt to poaching will require a commitment from developed nations like the U.S. and England. But as Patrick Brown’s moving photographs show, the battle will be fought in Asia.

Photo report's insight:

Patrick Brown is a multi award-winning English photographer based in Thailand. His work focuses on critical issues across the Asia region. Trading to Extinction is available through publisher Dewi Lewis.


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Black and white | Fine art photographer: Wei Chuan Liu

Black and white | Fine art photographer: Wei Chuan Liu | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Weichuan Liu is a Chinese photographer whose photos are absolutely gorgeous. He perfectly captures with his camera Panasonic DMC-LX3 the atmosphere of the environments around him. His portraits have a real charm too. Most of his photos are in black and white, so our selection focus on these.

 

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Peking Opera - Muke Village | Photo : Liu Zheng 刘铮

Peking Opera - Muke Village | Photo : Liu Zheng 刘铮 | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Peking Opera - Muke Village

Gelatin Sliver Print, 46 x 46 cm,

Edition of 5, 37 x 37 cm,

Edition of 20 ,1998

 

One of China's most widely exhibited contemporary artists, Liu Zheng 刘铮 was born in 1969 in Wuqiang County in Hebei province and grew up in Shanxi province.  After studying optical engineering at Beijing Technology Institute, he served as a professional photojournalist for Worker's Daily from 1991 to 1997. Liu Zheng's work has been included in such major exhibitions as the "1st Guangzhou Triennial" and the "50th Venice Biennial."

 

For the past decade, Chinese artist Liu Zheng 刘铮 has been working on his ambitious photographic project "The Chinese." In the finished work, Zheng has captured a people and a country in a unique time of flux.

 

Zheng seeks out moments in which archetypal Chinese characters are encountered in extreme and unexpected situations. His subjects have included street eccentrics, homeless children, street performers, provincial drug traffickers, coal miners, Buddhist monks, prison inmates, Taoist priests, waxwork figures in historical museums, and the dead and dying. Zheng's photographs betray a dark vision, albeit one that is laced with offsetting humor.

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