Action – Camera, Curated by Keith Wallace

Exhibition of Chinese Performance Art Photography Includes Some of China’s Top Contemporary Artists

Gao Brothers, Twenty People Paid to Hug No. 2, 2001, C-print.

Gao Brothers, Twenty People Paid to Hug No. 2, 2001, C-print.

A reminder from Yishu magazine to catch the final weeks of Action – Camera, a retrospective of contemporary Chinese performance art photography. The exhibition is ongoing in Vancouver, at the Univerity of British Columbia’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery until 19 April.

Action – Camera: Beijing Performance Photography examines the trajectory from the discreet underground performance art community centered in Beijing’s “East Village” in the early 1990s, to a current internationally recognized practice.

By the late 1990s, performance art became a more clearly defined practice, and for many artists the photograph functioned not only as a document, but also as a work of art in itself. As a further development, many performances were specifically created for the camera rather than a live audience—the viewer’s access to the “performance” was exclusively through the photograph. The shift from live performance to staged photograph and the reasons behind it are a central anchor to this exhibition.

Featured artists include: Ai Weiwei, Cang Xin, Dai Guangyu, the Gao Brothers (Gao Zheng and Gao Qiang), Han Bing, He Yunchang, He Chengyao, Hong Hao, Li Wei, Ma Liuming, RongRong, Wang Qingsong, Xing Danwen, Zhang Huan, and Zhu Ming.

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