Staging Encounters: 10 Years of Chinese Photography
Digital technologies and the internet have brought about earth shattering changes. Due to these technical revolutions, photography has already entered a post-media era. Because photography is highly reliant on technical developments, its post-media characteristics have made it an important narrative medium.
Even though most of us still follow in the footsteps of modernism—constantly pursuing the new and unique in contemporary photography, perhaps we should be more broad-minded. Perhaps we should slow down. Perhaps if we relax, we can look at art as a means and not an end. Art is the road to a spiritual paradise, and we now need to inspect the stones along this road at each point in time.
Over the last decade, the Lianzhou Foto Festival has brought attention to serious contemporary photography within the country, as well as providing a platform to showcase the range and vigor of what Chinese photographers are producing today.
This year's edition of Lianzhou Foto Festival has been titled "Staging Encounters" (taken from "Photography as Adventure" by Roland Barthes). In picking this theme, the festival is trying to escape narratives based on purely art historical models, instead incorporating a wide variety of disciplines and views. Thus, the work of the artists is divided into eight sections, each of which are distinct yet simultaneously overlapping. The themes range from the concrete ("Modernized Landscape") to the abstract ("Private Viewing") to the future ("Photography in the Post-Media Era").
As ever, the festival's ambitious program hopes to capture (and highlight) what's been done while at the same time looking forward to what's next.
Editor's Note: The Lianzhou Foto Festival will run until December 22, 2014. Be sure to check out the festival's website to get a full sense of the offerings that will be shown.