Photography is a common language amongst different places and groups of people. In the span of time and space, it has greatly influenced the life of every individual. From the moment it was born photography has left a deep mark on historical representation, becoming a narrator and carrier of modern, global civilization. From a globalized perspective of the cultural landscape, photography-as-art is playing a greater role in the evolution of every culture.
In Europe, the birthplace of art photography, and Japan, where it has developed into a relatively mature stage, art photography has reached a high standard, producing masters and masterpieces that inspire people. The exhibition of the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre’s permanent collection of original works from Europe, America, and Japan embodies the most important values of art photography, namely the aesthetic appeal of the image and the true, individual impressions of the artists. These photographic works are rarely seen in China, and contact with them can give audiences the historical coordinates and standards for evaluating and appreciating art photography. Through these works, viewers can also gain a more objective and complete understanding of Chinese contemporary arts’ development and course of growth.
In a China that has experienced vast amounts of change in the last thirty years, art photography of all periods is making its uniqueness and effect on cultural history apparent. To a great extent, Chinese contemporary photography was produced under the influence of American and European photography, or amidst a flux of international photography. The cultural differences produced an attempt to mutually understand and exchange. Chinese contemporary photography is now in this environment of convection, developing and moving toward internationalism. Showing Chinese contemporary photography alongside the works of older European, American, and Japanese photographic masters provides a field for connecting Chinese contemporary photography and international photographic culture. This exhibition makes apparent each image tradition’s uniqueness, exploring the value of the image in an era of rapidly changing history and envisioning the use and significance of photography for a future society.