Thursday, January 6, 2011


Yesterday I went to The Getty Museum and came upon their New China exhibition to discover some very intriguing photographs! Particularly intriguing were those of Wang Qingsong.

Wang's work has a quirkiness to it. Although it is very much staged, the staging is almost purposefully horrible in some cases. By this I mean the deliberate use of gaudy costumes and unfitted wigs and mismatched everything. But this quirkiness adds another level of narrative to his work. Most of his work is inspired a lot from Chinese events, social issues, etc. So unlike some previous work I've discussed, there seems to be a deeper meaning that is a little less superficial than say, a concept for a fashion shoot would be. What's interesting about this however, is that even though the concept seems deeper, the photos them self seem more superficial. Compare it too Recuenco's work for instance: whereas Receunco's scenes were very much like classic paintings and almost look like stills from maybe a movie perhaps... Wang's work very much self reflects its medium. It is very obvious that these were shot in a studio with studio lighting and studio props. I wonder if this is mostly due to the lighting or post production... perhaps a bit of both? I'm curious now because I want to know the ways in which Recuenco edited his work to get from the look of Wang's to his own. So while I am very intrigued by Wang's work and very fascinated with the odd scenes and costumes and environments... I definitely am less drawn to it than Recuenco's or Leibovitz's or Grunstein's. 

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