RAS Art Focus Group

Artling, 1F, building 31, No.322 Jiaozhou Road (near Wuding Road)

1980s–1990s Shanghai in Photographs

Speaker: Shi Hantao

The last two decades of 20th century has been a pivotal transitional period in connecting the revolution era and the present times in the history of Shanghai. While the economic, social and political reforms during the past twenty years largely determined the growth of the city, there was simultaneously a dramatic turn and a significant difference between the two decades in terms of the state’s political and economic agenda and its effects on the daily life of the masses. This talk is based on the extraordinary historic traces captured by eight photographers, Tang Zaiqing, Xu Xixian, Yong He, Gong Jianhua, Zhou Ming, Xu Haifeng, Lu Yuanmin, and Wang Hua, who were all active as photo journalists and propaganda cadres in the 1980s and 1990s. By translating the narratives of these images, revealed through the lens of the photographers who had their pulse on society, we will explore the rich cultural and historical significance embedded in these rare images.

Shi Hantao is a Shanghai born and based independent researcher and curator. He has curated and organized exhibitions and public programs in various art organizations in the last two decades, at the Ray Art Center, Himalayas Museum and the Power Station of Art. His numerous writings and translations cover the fields of photography, contemporary art and institutional critique.

RSVP: artgroup@royalasiaticsociety.org.cn