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Rising Dragon: Contemporary Chinese photography on view at the Katonah Museum of Art
Liyu + Liubo, Chutian Golden Paper 2007-08-13, An Escapee Being Chased Dropped through the Top Floor of a Building and Scared Everybody Inside, from “The Victim” series. Digital chromogenic print, 16x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artists © Liyu + Liubo.

KATONAH, NY.- In celebration of the Chinese Year of the Dragon, the Katonah Museum of Art presents Rising Dragon: Contemporary Chinese Photography, an exhibition of work created by Chinese artists in China since 2000, the last Year of the Dragon. Curated by Miles Barth, many of the 80 works in Rising Dragon have never been seen in the United States. The exhibition is on view through September 2, 2012. The Katonah Museum of Art is located at 134 Jay Street (Route 22) in Katonah, NY.

Rising Dragon offers an overview of the photographic work that is being done in China today. “I see it as organized chaos,” says Barth. “It’s like China itself; a mass of humanity going in every direction at the speed of light. The artists are responding to every aspect of society, everything they see and live, the good, the bad and the ugly.” Subject matter includes landscapes, portraits, architecture, and images that document daily life, ranging from the rapid urbanization of the country that has led to the displacement of families and the disappearance of place to the environment and the opening of the information age through the Internet.. Also included are photographic tableaus that reference ancient and contemporary Chinese culture including religion, politics, sexual identity, and the radically changing attitudes towards these societal pillars. “In many ways I feel that through their work the artists are trying to regain something of the ancient history that the Communist government tried to wipe out during the Cultural Revolution,” Barth concluded.

Among the photographers represented in Rising Dragon: Contemporary Chinese Photography are: Liyu + Liubo, Muge, O Zhang, Qui Zhijie, Rong Rong, Sun Ji, Tian Taiquan, Zhang Huan, and Zhang Xiao.

“Rising Dragon is a perfect portal to experience Chinese photography over the past 10 years, and offers a wide range of public programs focusing on the broader Chinese culture,” said Neil Watson, Executive Director of the Katonah Museum of Art. “The blending of the exhibition with programs such as Chinese Culture Family Day and a lecture by Nicholas Platt create a rich tapestry for our visitors to experience.”

Rising Dragon: Contemporary Chinese Photography will move to the Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion in Champagne, Illinois from October 12 through December 30, 2012. From there it will move to the San Jose Museum of Art from January through June, 2013.

In the Project Gallery
Xu Bing: Square Word Calligraphy
March 25 – June 10
Long interested in written languages, artist Xu Bing has devised a unique method to write English words that resemble Chinese characters. Using his Square Word Calligraphy, Bing transcribes poems by Robert Frost and the 8th-century Tang Dynasty poet Wang Wei, as well as Bob Dylan lyrics and children’s nursery rhymes. Visitors may initially perceive the large, multi-paneled works as written in traditional Chinese, but will delight to discover their ability to “decode” the distinctive text. Bing’s hybrid calligraphy marries art from two diverse cultures.

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