As the globe gazes towards China, it’s no surprise that some of the world’s best eyes have been attracted to the country to capture its image on film. Photographers old and new, local and foreign, have explored the nation’s landscapes, objects and people and are exhibiting their art in a place anyone can see it — the internet. For those who may never see the striking images in person, the visuals provide a partial description of the exotic country everybody seems to be talking about these days. But even to those familiar with the ways and wonders of the PRC, the works offer some innovative artistic takes on different aspects of Chinese life, culture and society. Some of our favorites:
- It certainly wasn’t easy, but after trekking for six months and 20,000 miles, Mathias Braschler and Monika Fischer have created a rich collection of Chinese portraits. The subjects are diverse, ranging from a Beijing DJ to a Taoist monk, but all of the images share striking quality and an ability to hint at a piece of China’s complex story.
- Exploration of the East is nothing new, something Sidney Gamble could have told you between trips to study and photograph early 20th Century China. The scholar’s black and white images of countryside and colonialism are now available in a searchable Duke University database. A poke through the Shanghai shots reveals a rustic collection of boats, wheelbarrows and churches on the cobbled streets of an unrecognizable city.
- It’s not only tourists who tote the cameras. We’ve already mentioned China’s current art boom, and it’s photographers are no exception. A new and improved official Chinese Photographers Association website has just come online, allowing users to check out their favorite artists or click for similar works if they find certain images intriguing. It’s not in English yet, but relatively easy to browse and enjoy without language ability — isn’t that the beauty of art?
Photo from randomix