"My inspiration came from a certain Chinese style of group photography but these ceremonial photographs mark a departure from a certain historical period and herald the future. I created some typical Chinese groupings; they replicate themselves, wearing plastic clothes. They stand on display in vast spaces or upon a stage – because they were, and still are dreamers. As China enters a new era, they begin to stand together upon a world stage, self-conscious and yet filled with power." - Quentin Shih
ART LEXING is unveiled the provocative imagery of renowned New York-based Chinese photographer Quentin Shih, commissioned by Christian Dior, at ART ASIA Miami 2011 during Art Basel Miami Beach.
The Shih photo exhibit marks the first time the photographs -- 20 works commissioned from the artist for Christian Dior & Chinese Artists, a Dior-sponsored exhibition in Beijing Ullens Contemporary Art Center -- have been exhibited in Miami. For the project, the photographer snapped models in Dior’s haute couture collection in Paris, then digitally integrated Chinese landscapes and characters. (Shih's work frequently juxtaposes images of working-class China with hallmarks of affluence plucked from Western culture, triggering debate and acclaim both within China and abroad.)
In 2010, to celebrate the re-opening of the Dior Boutique in Shanghai, the House of Dior again commissioned Quentin Shih to produce “Shanghai Dreamers”, a beautiful series through which Shih plays with surrealism, creating oil-painting-style compositions by retouching his subjects, and using the visual repetition Chinese cultural stereotypes in a pattern to contrast the rigor and uniformity of Chinese mass culture against his subject.
The results are haunting juxtapositions which contrast the harmony of uniformity against the fundamental beauty of uniqueness, triggering a powerful emotional response where predictability proves to be both beautiful and grotesque. His pieces are thought-provoking manifestations ripe with pan-cultural significance, not to be missed during this first-ever Miami debut.
QUENTIN SHIH (a.k.a. SHI XIAOFAN), born in Tianjin, China in 1975, lives and works as a photographer/artist, traveling between New York and Beijing.
More details coming soon.
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