Ai Weiwei – Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995
The return of Ai Weiwei to China after living in New York City for more than a decade marked the beginning of a new form of art. No one knew all long he was thinking about the themes of transformation and destruction. He embarked on collecting ancient vessels with the aim of converting them into contemporary art pieces. Some people viewed this act as a way of collaborating with the ancient artists’ work, but some argued that it was misappropriating the artists’ work without their approval. This act provoked emotions since the urns were considered a form of consumer culture and heritage preservation, especially since he dropped it intentionally.
Braco Dimitrijević – Casual Passer-by I met at 11.09 AM, 1971
Braco Dimitrijević’s Casual Passer-By series are a series of canvas based photographs created as from 1971. The works feature large-scale images of people that the artist met in the streets. Each of the pieces comes with the exact time and place where the artist met with the person. However, he did not always put the exact date. These images were then placed on some of the prominent positions on the facades of high traffic areas such as the museum, advertisement displays, or the underground train service.
Fan Ho – Inferno, 1962
Photographer Fan Ho was born in Shanghai, China in 1931 and immigrated to Hong Kong in his teens where he then began to photograph the drama of city life, ranging from the teeming markets to desolate alleyways. A Hong Kong Memoir completes Ho’s trilogy that he began with Hong Kong Yesterday and The Living Theatre, in which he introduced viewers to Hong Kong during the 1950s and 1960s, using his exceptional eye for light, structure, and his patience, waiting for the right moment to take the photo.
His photobook, A Hong Kong Memoir, illuminates the differences in Hong Kong during different times, and highlights the differences in wellbeing when so many different people were immigrating to Hong Kong, many fleeing Shanghai due to the Nationalist-Communist Civil War, serving to create an assortment of cultural diversity and language barriers, and of course social inequality. The government provided those who were born in Hong Kong with housing and education, the incoming refugees were not provided with the same opportunities by any means. This discrepancy is highlighted in Ho’s photos, as you can see the distinct differences between precarity and affluence, while the use of light and dark emphasizes the dualistic nature of life in Hong Kong in the 1950s and 1960s.
The influential photographer Fan Ho shows the beauty of life while also showing disparity that accompanies social and economic inequality- using light and dark to contrast the images.
Fan Ho – A Day is Done, 1957
Fan Ho – World Upside Down, 1960
Fan Ho – Works, 1964
Fan Ho – W, 1959
Fan Ho – The Omen, 1964
Fan Ho – The Lone Ranger, 1954
Fan Ho – Sun Rays, 1959
Fan Ho – Street Scene, 1956
Fan Ho – Steps
Fan Ho – Private, 1960
Fan Ho – People Crossing, 1957
Fan Ho – Pattern, 1956
Fan Ho – On the Stage of Life, 1954
Fan Ho – Obsession, 1964
Fan Ho – Mother's Helper, 1967
Fan Ho – Man Carrying Box, 1954
Fan Ho – Lines & Forms, 1959
Fan Ho – Journey to Uncertainty, 1956
Fan Ho – In a Chinese Street, 1959
Fan Ho – In a Buddhist Temple, 1961
Fan Ho – Hong Kong Venice, 1962
Fan Ho – Her Study, 1963
Fan Ho – Flare, 1966
Fan Ho – Danger, 1965
Fan Ho – Daily Routine, 1961
Fan Ho – Coolies and Hawkers, 1958
Fan Ho – Construction, 1957
Fan Ho – Childhood, 1959
Fan Ho – Busy Harbor, 1964
Fan Ho – Between Showers, 1962
Fan Ho – Ashore, 1963
Fan Ho – As Evening Hurries By, 1955
Fan Ho – Arrow, 1958
Fan Ho – Approaching Shadow, 1954
Fan Ho – A Day is Done, 1957
Andreas Gursky – Pyongyang I, 2007, c-print, 307 x 215,5cm
© Andreas Gursky / VG Bild-Kunst. Courtesy: Monika Sprüth / Philomene Magers
Renowned for his large-format colour photographs charting themes of globalised society at work and play, Andreas Gursky’s production employs the digital technology to capture and refine an astounding compilation of detail on an epic scale. The perspective in many of Gursky’s photographs is drawn from an elevated vantage point. This position enables the viewer to encounter scenes, encompassing both centre and periphery, which are ordinarily beyond reach.
ABOUT STRUTH’S WORKS IN KOREA
In March 2007, Thomas Struth went on a first trip to South Korea. He spent time in the two largest cities, Seoul and Busan, as well as visiting religious and cultural sites, important landscapes and shipyards. At the vast DSME shipyard on Geoje Island, one of the largest in the world, he photographed tankers under construction and an immense semi-submersible drilling rig. Struth made two further visits to South Korea in 2008 and 2010, as well as visiting Pyongyang in North Korea for the first time.