EXHIBITIONS

Born in Guangzhou in 1957. One of the pioneers of experimental photography in China, Zhang Hai'er and Four other Chinese photographers were invited to participate in the prestigious Arles Photography Festival in 1988 in France, the beginning of international exposure of Chinese photography to the western world. He has held solo exhibitions at Image Fotografisk Galleri (Aarhus, Denmark) in 1995 and MusIJe de l'ÉlysIJe  (Lausanne, Switzerland) in 1993. His work is collected by Fondation Danielle Mitterrand (Paris, France); MusIJe de l'ÉlysIJe (Lausanne, Switzerland); White Rabbit Collection (Sydney, Australia); Power Station of Art (Shanghai, China), Shanghai Center of Photography (Shanghai, China), Sifang Art Museum (Nanjing, China) and Taikang Space (Beijing, China). He currently lives and works in Guangzhou, China and Paris, France. 


In the 1980s, when the majority of Chinese photographers had not begun making art in the modernist sense, the photographer Zhang Hai'er was already well-known. The mainstream of Chinese photography after the April Photography Society consisted of documentary photography and ubiquitous salon photography, but the astonishing photographs of his Bad Girls series subverted mainstream tastes. This first presentation of a sexual gaze, as well as his blurry images caused by a shaking camera (which were later much-imitated), all came from his sensitivity to reality and his internal intensity. Like Diane Arbus' straightforward focus on her subjects, Zhang Hai'er confronted the "bad girls" who over-emphasized sexuality; he simply used the most direct way of reflecting their fascination with their own sexuality. To a certain extent, the result of this direct examination was the close questioning of the sexual gaze within a patriarchal society. The formal beauty of the photographs that he cherished was really a longing for the texture of the truth presented through the texture of photography.


In this museum's opening exhibition, we hope to show viewers this unique moment in the development of modern Chinese photography.