Monday, January 2, 2012

Photographer #416: Chen Jiagang

Chen Jiagang, 1962, China, studied architecture in Chongqing and became a full-time photographer in 2001. His large-scale images, some up to 4 meters wide, are a mix of documentary, conceptual and staged photography. For his series Third Front he visited a large number of abandoned villages and factories. In 1964, due to an unstable foreign policy, China installed heavy industry and factories in the heartland of its country, resulting in the relocation of millions of workers. The third front was born and the region was booming. However, in the early 1980's an economic reform was initiated, the factories were closed and the towns and cities became empty. Chen visited the region on many occasions and photographed the industrial wasteland. Within his images he puts a beautiful woman, often dressed in a Qipao, and sometimes a young girl. They are symbolic and create a reference to China's history as well as raising questions about it. Chen released several monographs and his work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world. The following images come from the series Sample Room, Temptations and Great Third Front.


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