New materials invigorate old-school imagery

A photographic exhibition at the Image Group Art Gallery features works of six die-hard fans of old-fashioned analogue photography.

A photographic exhibition at the Image Group Art Gallery features works by Zhang Yongjiang, Zhuo Fumin, Zhang Yue, Cheng Anli, Han Wei and Wang Hua, all die-hard fans of old-fashioned analogue photography.

All works on display are the result of a six-month exploration and attempts by the six to explore the possibilities to develop black-and-white pictures on various materials instead of traditional photographic paper.

They coated materials such as bronze, ceramics, bricks, rice paper and old newspapers with silver halides to interpret what they wanted to express in their one-off handmade prints.

New materials invigorate old-school imagery
Ti Gong

Zhang Yongjiang makes the portrait of an old lady onto a bronze piece.

New materials invigorate old-school imagery
Ti Gong

Han Wei’s “Time and Space”

Han Wei’s “Time and Space” shows an old wall of the imperial palace. It has been printed on a block of six old bricks.

New materials invigorate old-school imagery
Ti Gong

Zhuo Fumin chooses rice paper as the substrate for his landscape of trees and water. Initially printed in monochrome, the image is afterward colored using traditional Chinese ink painting techniques.

New materials invigorate old-school imagery
Ti Gong

Zhang Yue’s “Poster Era”

Zhang Yue’s “Poster Era” captures a street corner, showing shop windows with hanging plastic models inside. It has been printed on a piece of metal, which gives the work an extra touch of modernity.

New materials invigorate old-school imagery
Ti Gong

Cheng Anli abstracted the image of a swan on a ceramic plate.

New materials invigorate old-school imagery
Ti Gong

Wang Hua’s “Days of Print Media”

Wang Hua’s “Days of Print Media” is a simple snapshot of a crowded Shanghai street in the 1990s, but has been printed on an old copy of Jiefang Daily, giving a dimension that the image alone could not achieve.

“It’s a return of the era of traditional silver and salt photography, which has been greatly affected by digital photography,” said Gu Zheng from Fudan University.

“The different materials bring out more details and quality, which bring out a power in the pictures which might otherwise go unnoticed.”

Exhibition Info

Date: Through April 21, 10:30am-8pm
Venue: Image Group Art Gallery
Address: 2/F, 300 Anfu Rd

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