The Bakwin Lecture: Jerome Silbergeld on Contemporary Chinese Photography
April 1, 2010
In the West, documentary photography led the way to the artistic recognition and museum collecting of photography. More than half a century later, Chinese “art photography” has become internationally popular, but China’s documentary photography has just begun to gain appreciation. Why this contrast? Do Chinese and Western museums view this medium from different perspectives? Do Chinese photographers see China through a different lens than their Western counterparts? Finally, what does documentary photography — Chinese or otherwise — have to do with art and aesthetics? This talk is based on the first major exhibition of Chinese documentary photographers held in America in 2009 and curated by Professor Silbergeld. Presented by the Art Department at Wellesley College.