Go out and listen to something…

January 23, 2008

Zhang ZongMei revisited

Filed under: Art, China Tour 3, China — burnett @ 4:35 am


I took my daughter Kiera to Moganshan Lu, the warehouse art district, hoping to give her an idea of the voluminous, creative,  and highly skilled world of new Chinese art.  We soon landed back at the studio of  my favorite, Zhang ZongMei (website)  I wrote about him before , so please see the previous entry for some important perspective.  His student Ai Lin was also in today, so we had fun catching up.  Zhang has recently returned from a tour of a community in southwest China near the Tibetan border.  He had a few hundred frames of photos from the region, ranging from stark landscapes to multiple shots of people in the villages.  These were the sort of photos that I would associate with old National Geographic articles.  The people are very rugged, live spartan lives and yet have the most colorful and attractive clothing.  Their faces are full of stories and to a large degree, sadness.  Some of the most striking were of photos inside the Buddhist temple.  These were truly remarkable and singular for numerous reasons.  The photos, taken in multiple light settings, showed several scores of Buddhist men worshipping in a temple that was a blizzard of red and gold colors.  They were clothed in heavy red garments and obviously freezing.  Zhang said the temperature was about -10C, and there was obviously no heat in this room.  Anyway, we had a lovely couple of hours in the studio, concluding with a group photo shoot in which all four of us aimed cameras at each other. 

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