Exploring loneliness through a lens
Updated: 2014-05-21 09:29
By Mariella Radaelli (China Daily)
In Xing Danwen's series Disconnexion, mobile phones, computers, toys and wires of various kinds are taken out of context and presented creatively. Photos provided to China Daily
In Milan, a Beijing visual artist shows how far she has traveled. Mariella Radaelli reports.
Xing Danwen captures drama, emotions and dreams, all through a camera. She mixes fact and fiction to reveal a larger reality. In China, she was one of the first artists to explore the boundaries of photography, transcending its limits. "I have been taking photographs for 25 years now," says Xing. She is a soft-spoken Chinese woman who has achieved enormous success in Europe with her innovative art.
To Xing, photographs are not vehicles for depicting the obvious. She uses photography to ponder questions that cannot be easily answered.
Aware of the force of visual language, Xing's approach is almost charged with miraculous power. Through her work, she interprets a reality that needs healing and demands a creative transformation of consciousness from the viewer.
Xing, 46, is a self-taught photographer who was born in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, where she studied painting at a local arts school before graduating from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.
Her Milan retrospective exhibition, which runs through June 28, is surprising because it shows how far she has traveled, from the social documentary work of her early years to the later experimental video art installations.
"Her themes include the conflict between globalization and traditions, problematic environmental issues created by rapid development, the urban drama between desire and reality," says the show's curator Silvia Cinelli. "Fiction, truth and illusion often play important roles."
The Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London have some of her works on permanent display. In the Unites States, the International Center of Photography and the Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, also have her works.