Art Talk

Marc Riboud’s “Windows of Liulichang” 1965 @ Beaugeste Gallery

Nine years after his first trip to China, Marc Riboud returns. The China he photographed in 1965 was on the brink of upheaval, which would be officially called “Ten Years of Chaos”. For four months, he toured China from South to North and East to West, by foot, by car, by train and even by plane; he travelled more than 22,000 kilometres across 12 of the 18 Chinese provinces. In Yunnan and Guangxi, he obtained unexpected permission to photograph farmers at work in the People's Communes, which were rarely visited by foreigners at that time. From Nanning, Riboud made a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Mao, in Shaoshan, where he photographed Mao's childhood bedroom, then he went on to photograph Mao’s bed with the mosquito net in the cave dwelling of Yan'an; as if it was an attempt to retrace the humble beginning of the Great Leader he had photographed in 1957.
"In Beijing and Shanghai, we went around by ourselves, without an interpreter”, wrote Marc Riboud in his book The Three Banners of China, published in 1966. “We wandered through the narrow streets of old Beijing neighbourhoods and entered random restaurants, small shops, cinemas, parks and forlorn temples, attracting the attention of groups of children particularly amused by the length of our noses". Inside an antique store called Liulichang, which means “Factory of Glazed Tile”, dating back to the Court of Yuan’s imperial kilns which produced coloured glazed tiles for the roofs of the palace, Riboud turned to a windows with six openings and took a picture of the children trying to peek inside the shop, creating a masterpiece. In one perfectly composed photograph, he created six images with a bounty of details and information.
The exhibition celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Riboud’s Windows of Liulichang, with 55 rare black and white or colour prints of China between 1957 and 1965.
Marc Riboud’s “Windows of Liulichang” 1965 runs until August 2015 @ Beaugeste Gallery. Room 519, Building 5, Lane 210 Taikang Lu, Tianzifang. Tel: 6466 9012. Web:


Broken Bones & Bruises: An Occasional Mess of Moving Parts @ island6
Since Liu Dao’s (English name: island 6) beginning, painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, new media artists, software and digital imaging artists, dancers, writers, engineers, guest artists and curators have worked together to produce original, intriguing shows. The collective produces cutting edge art that constantly contemplates the future of Asia, engages sights and scenes from old and new China and elevates the skills of new talents by working from a communal forum.
The curators of this exhibition explained the inspiration behind their latest collection, “The body is an amazing blob of moving parts, and we sure know how to make a mess of it on occasion. The ways a person could injure, maim, or kill themselves are literally infinite. If anything proves that point, it’s a simple Google search of freak accidents or injuries. Although it’s not a particularly pleasant category to wade through, it certainly confirms the sadistic and profoundly unlucky diversity in our fate. We sling arms over lovers and legs across crosswalks every day without considering what’s moving and jouncing along underneath our skin. We’re bags of glass who get by on pain pills and bikini waxes without thinking too much about the corporeal unit that contains a soul or whatever you want to call whatever you are”.
Broken Bones & Bruises: An Occasional Mess of Moving Parts runs until 18 June @ island6 ShGarden. G/F, Building 7. 50 Moganshan Lu, near Changhua Lu. Tel: 6227 7856. Web:
Of Woods and Wonderlands: Dual Exhibition by Pang Yun and Li Yuming @ Art+ Shanghai Gallery

Art+ Shanghai Gallery’s dual exhibition Of Woods and Wonderlands features paintings of delicate trees, dark skies, and imaginative landscapes by Chinese artists Pang Yun and Li Yuming. The natural world, with its innate order and raw strength, has long inspired the minds of men, and Of Woods and Wonderlands continues this tradition by exploring the convergence of art, nature, and reflection in the contemporary mindset.
In their first exhibition at Art+ Shanghai Gallery, Chongqing-based artists Pang Yun and Li Yuming offer introspective interpretations of landscape painting, which have roots in both Western Romanticism and Eastern shanshui painting. With hints of sublime mystery and classical Chinese rational fluidity, Pang and Li capture the largess and limitless horizon of their imagined landscapes in scenes of dense layered woods and evocative wonderlands. Of Woods and Wonderlands offers insight to both the allure of nature and the artists’ individual perspectives.
From Dante's dark wood to Frost's road not taken, diverging in a yellow wood, woods and wonderlands have a history of spurring within us a sense of adventure and fervent contemplation. What is it about endless forests, vast expanses, and the combination of sky, mountains, and rivers that inspires such awe?
Of Woods and Wonderlands: Dual Exhibition by Pang Yun and Li Yuming runs from 8 May to 14 June @ Art+ Shanghai Gallery. 191 Suzhou Nan Lu, near Sichuan Zhong Lu. Tel: 6333 7223. Web: