The Port and The Image: Documenting China’s Harbor Cities
The Port and the Image: Documenting China’s Harbor Cities
Artists: Chen Wenjun & Jiang Yanmei, Huang Zhengwei, Li Chaoyu, Xu Hao, Yang Yuanyuan, Zheng Chuan, Zhu Lanqing
Curators：He Yining, Wang Huan
Venue: China Port Museum Temporary Exhibition Space, Ningbo (No.6 Gangbo Road, Chunxiao, Beilun District, Ningbo, Zhejiang)
Duration: 2017.10.27——2017.11.16，09:00－16:00 Every Tuesday to Sunday, Closed on Mondays
Exhibition Opening: 2017.10.21 14:00
参展艺术家： 陈文俊 & 江演媚 、黄臻伟、李超瑜、徐浩、杨圆圆、 郑川、朱岚清
机构合作伙伴：BROWNIE Art Photography、Go East Project、腾讯谷雨、假杂志社、New Talents、佳作书局、瑞象馆、西西弗书店
About the Exhibition
“The Port and the Image: Documenting China’s Harbor Cities” is a project organized and curated by photography researcher and curator He Yining for the China Port Museum. The Project uses photography to explore the realities of development in China’s port cities in a modern, economically integrated world. Moreover, “The Port and the Image” seeks to address the issues created between the harbor and the city caused by rapid economic development. This exhibition includes eight photographers from different backgrounds and different fields. The images included are from seven harbors and their surrounding cities (Ningbo, Quanzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Dalian).
The seven major ports selected in this project serve as starting points. This project seeks to use photography to as a creative tool to analyze how these ports have grown: how their architecture has embraced both modernity and tradition, and how urban space, the environment, society, and culture relate to one another within them. "The Port and the Image" looks to discuss the ways in which a modern port city can be a unique vessel of history and tradition, and how the past and the present interact with one another in a contemporary context. Each of the eight photographers involved in the project have approached it from a different perspective. With their own interests and individual research as a starting point, they have formed concepts that assess both the urban area around the port, the interior beyond the coast, and the commercial and residential spaces between. In doing so, they have developed a deeper understanding of each ports unique situation. Once this has been established, each artist uses their own approach to photography (whether it is video, sound recording, or prints) to make their vision a reality.
Unfolding across three distinct sections --the imagined, the reappearing, and the coast-- Zheng Chuan’s "The Port of Ningbo- Fiction and Reality" takes an intricate and imaginative perspective on the transformation of Ningbo, one of Maritime Silk Road’s main ports. Zhu Lanqing in "Excavations of a Shipwreck" uses the discovery of a late Song Dynasty shipwreck on a beach nearby Quanzhou's ancient Houzhou Harbor as a starting point. Positioning herself as if she was on the excavation team, Zhu Lanqing juxtaposes two different "excavations" together to reconstruct the history of the port of Quanzhou. Chen Wenjun and Jiang Yanmei approach Guangzhou from two different angles: the former, through a series of photographs in " Wandering Through Guangzhou After 2000 years," and the later through a video titled, "Three Foreigners Doing Business in Guangzhou." In both pieces, the artists look at the role of Guangzhou as a site of historical East-West exchange and trade.
Li Chaoyu, in his work "A Nanjing just like Nanjing," compares the past and present of Nanjing, its history, and its role as an ancient inland port. His work discusses the reality of the problems that exist in China's current strategy towards historical tourism. In "Goods, Decades and Sense Shift" Xu Hao takes a typological approach to how business functions as regimes change. Using symbolic objects from a second-hand market, he creates a self-narrating story. Each work is set against a different background to incite different meanings in each new context. Huang Zhenwei in "Timeless Boundary – Hong Kong" creates a work about Hong Kong that integrates photography, sound samples, text, and other media. He focuses on daily life in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor, using it as a sample to create a surreal urban space that has no "dimension of time." Yang Yuanyuan, in her work, focuses on picking out the aspects of Dalian that best represent its recent historical background. Using specific sites in the city as an index, she reconstructs a story out of narrative fragments. Her work, "Dalian Mirage," uses photographs, text and video to approach the complex issues of colonial history and how the function of urban spaces change throughout different historical periods.
"The Port and the Image: Documenting China's Harbor Cities" is not only a visual archive of China's port cities, rather it is a dynamic series of synthesized multi-media research on the culture of port cities in a modern, globalized world. A series of related online and offline resources and events complimenting the exhibition in Ningbo will run in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, in order to enhance give a rounder perspective on ports and their culture. The photobook paired with the exhibition, published by Jiazazhi Press, will launch with the opening of the show.
About the Museum: The China Port Museum is located in Ningbo’s Beilun District, in Chunxiao Binhai New City. The museum’s structure spans across 40,978 square meters and opened in October of 2014. The China Port Museum was established by State Council of the People's Republic of China as a museum focused on exhibition, education, collection, research, tourism and international exchange about port culture. In doing so, the China Port Museum has become the largest international, professional, and interactive port-focused museum in China. The museum is dedicated to the history of Chinese ports and the continuation of their traditions. The museum aims to be a center for maritime culture and an important facet of the “new maritime silk road.” Through a combination of history, technology, a multitude of presentational mediums, and a high level of service, The China Port Museum invites you to set sail, and take off into the deep blue sea.
李超瑜在创作《如南京一般的南京》的过程中将这座城市作为历史古都和内河枢纽港的历史与现状做出对比，将作品讨论的现实对准当下景点开发中所存在的问题。徐浩的《物件，数十年和意识的转变》是艺术家针对上海政权更迭、商业变迁的一次类型学研究，他将表征的物件作为项目自我叙述的对象，尝试在不同背景下赋予其新的意义。于此同时，黄臻伟所拍摄的《无时境——香港计划》是由摄影、声音采样、文本等材料组成的综合媒介作品。他以香港维多利亚港周边的城市日常景观为样本, 并尝试挑战摄影本体中的“时间”元素, 创造一种失去“时间维度”的城市空间的超现实状态。杨圆圆在拍摄大连港的过程中选取了该港近代史的背景,以城市中的地点为索引,贯穿来自不同时代的叙事片段。《大连幻景》以摄影、文本、录像为媒介,涉及对战争与殖民历史的复杂性,以及城市空间在不同时期其功能与属性的转变。