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Kaleidescope: Latest Works of Chinese Photo Artists Hai Bo, Song Dong and Zhuang Hui

Art Beatus Gallery, Vancouver
Nov 9, 2001 - Jan 5, 2001

Hai Bo, They #3 (1999),

Hai Bo, Song Dong and Zhuang Hui are independent artists living and working in Beijing, China. This exhibition brings together photographic media work that concentrates on themes of spectacle, time and change.

Hai Bo's photographs document his friends, family and himself in a series of repeated poses that seemingly don't change, yet are taken at different times. Through this technique he grapples with the concept of time itself, which bypasses our ability to grasp it and yet is always present. As Hai Bo writes, "These pictures are the obstinate copy of the time, and it is the unable fantasy that my comprehension of art really is... I am also infatuated with the indescribable desolation."

Three themes of Song Dong's work are: Make something out of nothing. Make nothing out of something. Transform something into something else. As a video and installation artist, Dong explores Taoist ideas of existence and non-existence. The idea that media can create something out of nothing is a pervasive theme as he documents acts of "lastingness" or non-change rather than "performance".

Zhuang Hui's portraiture appears to come as a literal respite, but even here the message is not the medium. Fascinated by notions of "subject", individuality and identity in portraits of groups, he stages photographic events that include his presence. His work is political in practice as he manipulates socialist bureaucracy and institutions to achieve his goals.

© Mia Johnson