Zhang Huan <br/>
Chinese 1965-<br/>
<em>1/2</em> 1998<br/>
type C photograph<br/>
128.0 x 107.0 cm<br/>
Private collection, Melbourne<br/>
© Zhang Huan

Body Language

Contemporary Chinese Photography

Free entry

NGV International

Level G

14 Mar 08 – 18 May 08

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.