Chen Changfen Photographs The Great Wall Of China; One Subject, Ever Changing Page 2
Niujijiaobian, Beijing, 1989
Each image has its roots in Chinese art. Things disappear into the distance,
so characteristic of the Chinese way of depicting space and creating what is
commonly referred to as a "void," where there is little or no detail.
Changfen's images, many of which are 6-foot long panoramas, are printed on rice paper that has been used over the years for Chinese paintings and printmaking. He has used a variety of camera formats and technical processes over time and is using his Epson inkjet printer in the studio. Working with his son, the rice paper he uses is specially made heavier for him in order to have the absorption right and to ensure that the soft surface paper doesn't crease during the printing process. The pictures are high detail but just by the nature of the way ink soaks into this rice paper the details are much softer, offering a painterly look to the photograph.
Yingfeidaoyang, Beijing, 1990
Changfen's studio with its complete state-of-the-art equipment is traditional
in style and, with the help of his son, all of his color and black and white
printing is done in the studio.
Changfen is by no means simply documenting architectural ruins. "Over the past 10 or 12 years," Tucker says, "he has achieved the most beautiful and mature work of the project. It is more complex in some ways and yet appears simpler. Also, it is more personal and less documentary. He better understands what to photograph and how to photograph the Wall, making the series even deeper."
In August 1989, Chen Changfen was chosen by "TIME" as among the 10 noted photographers in the past 150 years of photography. He is also a permanent member of The Association of Chinese Photographers.
Youlouling, Jiankou, Beijing, 2004
During the '80s Changfen's reputation as a photographer rose dramatically
and his work was exhibited at the Chen Changfen Photographic Art Exposition
at the prestigious China Art Gallery in Beijing, '87. Other major exhibitions
followed and he was chosen as The Best Professional Photographer at the Swiss
Graphic Photos '85 for a cover photo of the mountains. Many accolades
have followed and his work is now widely exhibited.
A selection of Changfen's work will be on exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston from April 1st through August 12th.
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