Under the headline State of exposure, Francis Hodgson reviewed on February 15, 2013 in the Financial Times the latest book by Claire Robert Photography and China, a vibrant tour de force around the recent explosion of photography in China.
Like so much else in recent China, the great boom in Chinese contemporary art has happened too fast for complete analysis. There are fixed points, however, on the way to understanding. One of them is that in China, as everywhere else, photography has been a central element of contemporary art.
Political expressions that could not have been made in words were made visible in photography. The harshly suppressed mass mourning for Premier Zhou Enlai (he died in 1976), which became known as the April Fifth Movement, was given its main expression through photography. It became the first time since Mao that anything identifiable as political opposition had made itself felt.
READINGS 2009. The Role of Photography in Shaping China‘s Image: 1860- 1945. Evanston: workshop at the Northwestern University’s Department of Art ..