Somewhere in Eurasia, an old lady cries because she has no grandkids and then dies alone. But that’s not the case on mainland China, which has grown faster than the biceps on a major-league steroid junkie. Since 1980, Shenzhen, a city in China’s Guangdong Province, has gone from 20,000 farmers and fishermen to 13 million urban dwellers. The median age per capita is 30, and pop culture is big business. The Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography commissioned seven Chinese photographers to document the vital forces booming in the region.
Brian Dursum, director and chief curator of the Lowe Art Museum , has brought us the results with “China: Insights,” 150 photos of nightlife, trannies, hookers, rural living, sex, drugs, and religion. According to Dursum, an expert on 17th-century Chinese ceramics: “The Chinese don’t openly talk about stuff like this.” Moreover, none of the photographers have ever exhibited outside their home country. It’s a true inside look at one of the most interesting economies of the 21st Century as filtered through a fine-art lens.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. Starts: Nov. 27. Continues through Jan. 15, 2011