Duration: 21 December, 2019 – 9 Feburary 2020 9:30-17:30 Close on Mondays
Organiser: Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre
Venue: No. 301, Building 2, Xinglinwan Business Center, Jimei District, Xiamen
Text by the curator
When I first saw the pictures of Yang Zhongtian’s two younger sisters, they remind me of the twins under the lens of Diane Arbus, an American photographer. One of the twins displayed excitement in her smile while the other looked full of doubt.
This work is not just about the tenderness among siblings, but also contains the stabbing pain of life. The absence of motherhood and the trees planted by their father tangle with the growth of them. As the elder brother, Yang documents the passing of time. The adolescence of two sisters is approaching, and they are becoming young ladies.
Children’s sincere emotions naturally flow from Yang’s works of his sisters. Most family albums highlight those joyful moments but exclude those dark times of life. Yang, however, decided to record the life of his sisters in an honest way. Photographs hold memories but Yang’s photographs has accomplished more than that. His candid documenting transcends those photographs considered as family memorials by constituting a private memory shared by the girls, which unfolds in time in this exhibition.
The sisters now start to photograph their brother and start to see their brother and the world through the lens. Meanwhile, their childish selfies are also recorded by the camera. For photographers, holding the camera can symbolize a power of seeing. Yet, when the subject holding the camera, subverting this relationship of seeing and being seen, the art of photography is now open to more possibilities. For Yang and his sisters, this is the most natural action. From the photographer to the subject, Yang observes himself through those images taken by his sisters.
Therefore, Yang’s photographs of his sisters go beyond the family memorial and compose a series full of life experience and this exhibition—Two Sisters.
Text by the artist
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in 1994 in Wolonggang, Nanyang City, Henan Province. Graduated from Henan University, majored in geography, and obtained a bachelor’s degree. Engaging in photography for four years, now living in Daxiangguo Temple. Participated in the Pingyao Photography Festival Youth Curator Program in 2017 and 2018. Works were selected for the Pingyao Photography Festival in 2018.