New SF Photo Exhibit Looks Back at 20th Century Life in China

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To celebrate the Year of the Monkey, a new photo exhibition in San Francisco reveals life in China in the last century as told by three very distinct artists.


(Courtesy of Kurt Tong)

A joint collaboration between the Chinese Culture Center and SF Camerawork, which will each host works in tandem, Retrieved: The Art of Looking Back pieces together the Chinese experience through the lenses and experiences of three different photographers: Kurt Tong, whose photographs trace his family's migrations from China to England and back to Hong Kong and grace a teahouse installation at the CCC; Thomas Sauvin, who salvaged from a recycling yard nearly a half million photographic negatives documenting Beijing life from 1985 to 2005; and Daniel Traub, whose 20,000 collected images from itinerant photographers depict mostly African traders in Guangzhong.

                   

                   (Courtesy of Daniel Traub)

“Kurt is Chinese, and has moved a lot internationally. Daniel is half-Chinese, and grew up in the States. Thomas is French, but he has spent the most time in China of the three artists,” says Heather Snider, Director of SF Camerawork, pointing to the disparate lives and perspectives that make up Chinese culture.

“We hope the exhibit becomes a model for telling the stories of various cultures," she continues. "The idea is to look for commonalities between the many immigrant communities in SF, and to ask how photographs can help you understand your immigrant identity.”

(Courtesy of Kurt Tong)

Retrieved: The Art of Looking Back opens on February 19 at both SF Camerawork and the Chinese Culture Center.  //  Feb. 19 to Apr. 23, 2016 at Visual Art Center, Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny St., 3rd floor (FiDi), c-c-c.org; SF Camerawork, 1011 Market St., 2nd floor (Mid-Market), sfcamerawork.org.

                    

                    (Courtesy of Daniel Traub)

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