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China: 50 Years Inside the People's Republic

Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives, Vancouver
September 16, 2000 - November 12, 2000

Hangzhou (1987),

While the history of China is thousands of years old, few historical periods have witnessed the cultural urgency and dynamism captured by these photographers during the fifty years since the arrival of the People's Liberation Army in Beijing, 1949. Nor has any other period had the opportunity to be as extensively photographed. The dramatic upheavals in this country have attracted hundreds of photographers and filmmakers since it opened to the West. ìChina: 50 Yearsî presents a magnificent collection of images by 25 of the most important Chinese and Western photographers of our time. The ancient and rapidly changing society of contemporary China is portrayed in complex and passionate visual documentation as the artists explore culture, religion, politics and daily life. Startling black and white photographs compete with saturated cibachromes and colour prints for viewer responses of drama, surprise and dismay. The exhibit already has travelled from New York, Toronto and Berkeley since October 1999. It will proceed to other North American cities before opening overseas in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Naples, Manchester and London.

© Mia Johnson