Zhang Haier in search of enlightenment through a dark lens

| Exhibition Info |

MUSE: Zhang Haier——How one photographer has spent thirty years seeking enlightenment through a dark lens

Exhibition Duration: 2018. 03.17— 2018. 05.22

Opening Reception: 2018. 03.17 Saturday 15:00

Opening Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10:00— 18:00

Venue: Guangzhou 33 Contemporary Art Center (广州33当代艺术中心)

Symposium: 2018.03.17 Saturday 15:30—17:30

Speakers: Pi Daojian/ Liu Heungshing/ Chen Tong/ Feng Yuan/ Hu Zhen/ Zheng Ziyu/ Yan Yong/ Li Tingchen

Co-organizers: Shanghai Center of Photography, Guangzhou 33 Contemporary Art Center

缪斯:张海儿海报.jpg

| Foreword |

Zhang Haier is a well-known figure in photography in China, recognized for a steadfast devotion to style and content which has evolved through a thirty-year career that began in the mid-1980s. Previously, his body of work has been seen only in fragmented fashion. 

Now, the exhibition “MUSE” brings together familiar and previously unseen examples of work that spans Zhang Haier’s career. The selection begins from his primary sources of inspiration – women, yes, but family members initially not strangers – and is focused on the major themes that emerged.

张海儿Zhang haier 《瞿颖,广州,一九九七年Qu Ying, Guangzhou, 1997》 收藏级喷墨打印archival inkjet print 75x60cm 1997.jpg

Zhang Haier is one of China’s most experienced and progressive photographers. In 1985, he entered Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art to pursue a masters’ degree in painting where, in spite of the disparagement he received, Zhang Haier began to evolve a highly personal exploration of photography. This resulted in a singular “vision of the world through a lens”, in which darkness is a conscious visual code: the defining characteristic of Zhang Haier’s work. 

张海儿Zhang haier 《窗边的胡源莉,广州,一九八七年Hu Yuanli by the window, Guangzhou, 1987》 收藏级喷墨打印archival inkjet print 66x45cm 1987.jpg

As the title of this exhibition, “MUSE” refers as much to place as to a single person or series of individuals: as much to Guangzhou as to Paris, as to his wife of 35 years, Hu Yuanli, as to the myriad personalities upon which he has turned his camera since the late-1980s. Hu Yuanli is the women who remains central to his work, as his most enduring and intimate Muse. The photographs selected for “MUSE” explore their experiments with portraiture: the male photographer celebrating the female figure, her femininity, and the natural allure is captured.

张海儿Zhang haier 《李威廉为陈冲上妆,孙周和张海儿在观看,上海龙华宾馆,一九九九年Joan Chen being made up by William Lee, while Sun Zhou and Zhang Haier watching, Longhua Hotel, Shanghai, 1999》 收藏级喷墨打印archival inkjet print 60x60cm 1999.jpg

Through 35 years, Zhang Haier has continued his exploration of the subject of women and other forms of feminine identity. These works share a common assertion of self, with a force of emotion that alternates between joy, pain, delight and sorrow. Zhang Haier’s work speaks of real people in their natural states.

张海儿Zhang haier 《胡源莉,广州,一九八四年Hu Yuanli, Guangzhou, 1984》 收藏级喷墨打印archival inkjet print 102.5x72.3cm 1984.jpg

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