Framing the Revolution: Contemporary Chinese Photographs from the Jack and Susy Wadsworth Collection Part I

Miniature Long March Site 22, from the series Miniature Long March Nos. 15-23 (微型长征第十五至二十三 Weixing changzheng di shiwu zhi ershisan)
QIN Ga 琴嘎
Gift of the Jack and Susy Wadsworth Collection of Contemporary Chinese Photographs
2018:28.3h


Chang Gang, No. 1 from the Assembly Hall Series (大礼堂系列 Da litang xilie)
SHAO Yinong 邵逸农; MUCHEN 沐辰 / 慕辰
Gift of the Jack and Susy Wadsworth Collection of Contemporary Chinese Photographs
2018:28.10a


Dialogue-Shooting
XIAO Lu 肖鲁
Gift of the Jack and Susy Wadsworth Collection of Contemporary Chinese Photographs
2018:38.2


Artists and Students at a Protest March in Beijing, 1979
LIU Heung Shing 劉香成
Gift of the Jack and Susy Wadsworth Collection of Contemporary Chinese Photographs
2019:31.12

Framing the Revolution: Contemporary Chinese Photographs from the Jack and Susy Wadsworth Collection Part I

January 28, 2023 to August 27, 2023
In 2018, collectors Jack and Susy Wadsworth began donating contemporary Chinese photographs to the JSMA, building a collection that now includes over 190 works by 16 artists, including numerous large-format image series, documentary and propaganda photography, and a single-channel video. Presented in the Barker Gallery, Framing the Revolution will be the first major exhibition of the Wadsworths’ Chinese Collection. It features more than 50 politically-charged works by seven artists, ranging in date from 1958 to 2006. Together, they reflect upon modern Chinese history, examining events such as the Long March, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and its aftermath, and moments of tremendous social upheaval and change. Artists included are WANG Shilong, LIU Heung Shing, XIAO Lu, SHENG Qi, SHAO Yinong & MUCHEN, and QIN Ga.
 
This abbreviated survey of mid-20th through early 21st-century photography begins with black-and-white propaganda images by WANG Shilong (born 1930) showing aspects of Chinese society before, during, and after the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-76).  It continues with journalistic images by Hong Kong-born, U.S.-based artist LIU Heung Shing (born 1951) documenting the idealistic young artists behind Beijing’s 1979 Stars Art Exhibition.  It also features the notorious photo of XIAO Lu (born 1966) firing a gun at her own art installation during the opening of the China/Avant-Garde Exhibition in Beijing in February 1986.  In addition, there are powerful works by SHENG Qi (born 1965) that reflect upon the legacy of the Cultural Revolution. And finally, the exhibition concludes with works in which SHAO Yinong (born 1961) & MUCHEN (born 1970) and QIN Ga (born 1971) reenact and remember the Red Army’s 1934-35 Long March, in which Communist Party leaders traversed approximately 5,600 miles.
 
The exhibition, programs, and forthcoming catalogue, are made possible with generous support from the WLS Spencer Foundation.