NEW YORK—An exhibition of contemporary photography will be on view at China Institute Gallery from February 8 through December 2, 2018. Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s Lens will survey work from more than 20 photographers. With over 60 photographs – many on view for the first time in the U.S – Art of the Mountain will present photographs that pay homage to the major mountain ranges of China.
In Chinese legend, mountains are the pillars that hold up the sky. Mountains were seen as places that nurture life. Their veneration took the form of rituals, retreat from social society, and aesthetic appreciation with a defining role in Chinese art and culture.
“Art of the Mountain articulates a vision of Chinese culture and documents its contributions to civilization,” said Willow Weilan Hai, Director, China Institute Gallery, chief curator of the exhibition. “The search for eternal happiness, a happiness of spirit that reflects harmony, where nature heals all, is an essential part of Chinese culture. Chinese artists are employing photography to depict nature – and man’s complicated relationship with it – often derived from Chinese philosophy about the natural world.”
Among the highlights in the exhibition, which focuses on photographs from 1990 to 2017, will be aerial photographs by Hou Heliang (born 1953), telling stories of man’s impact on the environment in Shandong province during the last 30 years. Taca Sui (born 1984) whose work is collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, dedicated himself to the study of China’s ancient poetry collection, The Book of Odes, considered a window into early Chinese civilization. His photography is infused with poetic stillness and the absence of human activity.
This exhibition presents 60 photographs by more than 20 Chinese contemporary artists, and is divided in to three parts:
Section I Lofty Mountains: Revered in History 高山仰止 introduces the geography, history, legends, and cultures associated with famous Chinese mountains
Section II Pure Sound: Mountains and Chinese Landscape Aesthetics 山水清音 examines Chinese landscape painting aesthetics and how they have influenced contemporary photography, through the work of renowned Chinese photographer Wang Wusheng 汪芜生
Section III New Landscape Photography 新山水摄影 showcases photographers using photography and post-photographic visual affects to express their thoughts on the role of mountains in society.
Featured artists include Wang Wusheng 汪芜生，Hou Heliang 候贺良，Taca Sui 塔可，Lu Hao 卢浩，Yao Lu 姚璐，Yan Changjiang 颜长江，and Xiao Xuan’an 肖萱安.