Body Language
Contemporary Chinese Photography
Zhang Huan
Chinese 1965-
1/2 1998
type C photograph
128.0 x 107.0 cm
Private collection, Melbourne
© Zhang Huan

Over the last decade, Chinese photography has undergone a remarkable period of transformation and growth. Often reflecting an urgent desire to explore individual and social identity in a time of unprecedented change, a group of Chinese photographers have used their own bodies as the vehicle for creative expression and critique.

Body Language highlights key photographs that reflect the tensions in Chinese society as the processes of social change meet traditional culture and expectations head-on. In an environment where free expression is proscribed, these artists use the physical form closest to them (their own body) as a means to communicate in a complex, multi-layered and often coded way with the wider world.

This exhibition features photographs by Zhang Huan (To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond); Sheng Qi (Memories); Huang Yan (Chinese Landscape – Tattoo); and Liu Wei, whose massively scaled work Landscape will be shown in Australia for the first time.


14 Mar 200818 May 2008 NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Temporary Exhibition Space 1
Level G