Linking Body and Desire by Photography: "Body / Desire - Wang Jun's Photography Collection"
Curator: Gu Zheng
We are pleased to invite Mr. Wang Jun, a contemporary art collector and the founder of Beijing Light Society, to share his contemporary photo collection in the section of Collector's Tale at the Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival.
Mr. Wang has been collecting contemporary artworks for many years and has particularly devoted to the collection of contemporary photography. In the past few years, he has been focusing the keyword "body" to explore the world of contemporary photography, and has formed a large collection on this topic. The Light Society, which he founded in Beijing in 2017, is a photography and culture institution. It has made important contributions to promoting the development of photography in China and cultural exchanges between Chinese and overseas photographers, by exhibiting works by foreign art masters and photographers who have had a significant impact in China, and actively conducting photography education activities and various photography cultural activities.
Body / Desire - Wang Jun's Photography Collection will present works by Chinese and overseas photographers and artists in Wang's collection, including emphatic works that display emotional entanglement in a pure and direct way, such as works by Nobuyoshi Araki, as well as works that expound the motif of "body" in the contemporary life and in a conceptual way, such as the work No by Qiu Zhijie. These works which are unique in both concept and technique, use direct but sharp body images of life, death and love, to provoke thinking about desire in the medium of body and cultural individuality. In their hands, the body is both a weapon of resistance and a method of narration, as well as a means of emotional connection and reconstruction. Meanwhile, the works that link the body and desire by photography also present human desire in a unique visual method of photography through the observation, description and evaluation of the body, and further expand the artistic expression and the potential of photography.
We believe that the masterpieces of photography about the relationship between body and desire included in this exhibition, have a positive significance in opening the viewer's eyes and increasing people's knowledge and benefiting the understanding of contemporary photography. Moreover, this exhibition shows us that the act of collecting photography works is also an artistic practice. Collectors like Mr. Wang Jun have advocated the development of Chinese contemporary photography with his passionate practice of collecting photography works.
The Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival actively encourages and promotes photo collecting in China. The section of "Collector's Tale" serves this purpose and has gained great attention, with the active support from Chinese collectors. We sincerely hope that through the exhibition of Wang Jun's photo collection, we can review the collector's artistic vision and collecting strategy, and meanwhile raising the public's attention to photography and photo collection.
Jiang ZhiLove Letters No.7, 2014
jiang zhiLove Letters No.13, 2014
Hisaji HaraA study of “The Room”, 2009
liang xiuLiving Like a Rotten Lotus, 2017
WangJun is a contemporary art collector and on a list of“Art Nova 100” investors. His investment interests span the contemporary arts. He has turned increasingly to the nonprofit sector since after becoming a foundation council member of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art. In 2017, in the spirit of "art for art's sake", he established Light Society, committed to using platform-based institutional methods of managing, exhibiting, researching and promoting young photographers’ work.
Born in Shanghai in 1959, Gu Zheng is now a member of Fudan University as the professor at the School of Journalism, the researcher at the Center for Information and Communication Studies, and the deputy director at the Visual Culture Research Center. In 1998, he graduated from the Department of Human Culture Studies at Osaka Prefecture University in Japan with a Ph.D. He is also the Harvard Yanjing visiting scholar in 2017-18.
Professor Gu focuses mainly on the 20th century modern art, contemporary Chinese documentary photography, visual culture and image communication research, and photography history. He is the author of “Chinese Contemporary Photograpic Art" (2011, Chinese and French), "Photographers on the Road" (2013, Taipei), "The Most Essential Things We Need To Know About Photography" (2016), "No The fairy tale of a happy ending: war, propaganda and images, "From Shanghai - Photography Modernity Verification" (2017), "How do they accept photography" (2018) and so on. He is the editor-in-chief of "Selected Paper on Western Photography" (2005), "Photography, Society, Space" (2010), and "Theory of Chinese Photography" (edited, 2013).
Gu Zheng has won the Golden Statue Award For China Photography (Theoretical Review) (2001) and the first Sha Fei Photography Award Academic Award (2007). He is also the 9th Heinz Gtze Distinguished Visiting Professor of University of Heidelberg, 2019.