Born in 1971 in Beijing, Yang Fudong received a BFA in oil painting from the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, in 1995 but pursued his artistic career in filmmaking and photography. Influenced by a wide range of visual references and formal considerations, Yang often stages contradictions between present social conditions, classical Chinese cultural tropes, and modern film culture to explore broader historical, social, and political themes. Featuring fragmented, overlapping, and abstract storylines, his film style is notable for its long suspended sequences and frequent use of black-and-white.
Yang’s first feature, An Estranged Paradise (1997–2002), depicts the journey of a reticent young intellectual, Zhuzi, who suffers from an undiagnosed malaise. The film follows the disconsolate protagonist as he wanders the streets and parks of a rapidly modernizing Hangzhou, trying to make meaning of an environment from which he feels estranged. His psychological displacement conveys the sense of an individual unmoored by sweeping social change.
Starting in 2003, Yang embarked on his most epic and celebrated work, the five-part opus Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003–07). He produced one film per year, and the pentalogy, which explores dissonances between real and ideal worlds, was featured at the 2007 Venice Biennale. The title references a famous story about third-century Daoist sages, who were revered for their sharp political commentary and uninhibited hedonism. Yang retells this tale in a contemporary setting, and the film series follows a group of stylish young literati who similarly shun the complexities of urban life and retreat to the countryside. However, a simpler life proves too difficult, only adding to their psychological and moral confusion. Like several subsequent works, his films and videos are dreamlike, atemporal, and visually beautiful.
Yang has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2005); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2010); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich (2013); and Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2015), among others. His work has been exhibited in group shows such as Fruits de la passion, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2012–13); Bentu: Chinese Artists in a Time of Turbulence and Transformation, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2016); What About the Art? Contemporary Art from China, Qatar Museums Gallery Al Riwaq, Doha (2016); and Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World, Guggenheim Museum (2017–18, traveled to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao  and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [2018–19]). It has also appeared in Documenta, Kassel, Germany (2002); Liverpool Biennial (2004); Venice Biennale (2003 and 2007); Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane (2007); Guangzhou Triennial (2008); Performa, New York (2009); Shanghai Biennial (2010); and Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2013). A finalist for the 2004 Hugo Boss Prize, Yang lives and works in Shanghai.
In 1957, Life assigned Gordon Parks to illustrate a recurring series of articles on crime in the United States. The editors wanted to examine not only rising rates of criminal misconduct but also the perceived lack of response to such activity. Parks embarked on a six-week journey that took him and a reporter, Henry Suydam, to the streets of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Many of Parks’ images are low-lit, with ﬁgures shown in shadow, reﬂected in mirrors or windows, and blurred in motion. Later Parks vividly described episodes from this assignment, most notably traveling with two ethically questionable Chicago policemen as they went on drug raids, and the chilling execution of convicted murderer Thomas L Johnston at San Quentin. After a preview of the series in the September 2 issue of Life, the ﬁrst full-length article was published on September 9. The introductory image in the article is of a man’s face in silhouette as he speaks into a radio transceiver while sitting in a car. The only light entering the frame is a soft white glow cut with blue and red circles on the rain-spotted windshield beyond the ﬁgure. This dark image typiﬁes the gloomy, grainy style of the entire series
Stranger Fruit was created in response to the senseless murders of black men across the nation by police violence. Even with smart phones and dash cams recording the actions, more lives get cut short due to unnecessary and excessive violence.
Who is next? Me? My brother? My friends? How do we protect these men?
Lost in the furor of media coverage, lawsuits and protests is the plight of the mother. Who, regardless of the legal outcome, must carry on without her child.
I set out to photograph mothers with their sons in their environment, reenacting what it must feel like to endure this pain. The mothers in the photographs have not lost their sons, but understand the reality, that this could happen to their family. The mother is also photographed in isolation, reflecting on the absence. When the trials are over, the protesters have gone home and the news cameras gone, it is the mother left. Left to mourn, to survive.
The title of the project is a reference to the song “Strange Fruit.” Instead of black bodies hanging from the Poplar Tree, these fruits of our families, our communities, are being killed in the street.
Cole Barash (b.1987) is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Working in the mediums of digital, analog, and archival photography, Barash often focuses on the conversation of color and composition between two objects or moments. Well acquainted with international subcultures, Cole seeks “subjects where the boundaries are more open and not as seasoned”. Using an organic approach, his portraiture and still lifes became known for their candid and spontaneous sense of intimacy.
In late 1968 António de Oliveira Salazar suffered a severe stroke and was no longer able to function as Portugal’s Fascist strongman. I lived and photographed the people of Portugal from late 1967 to just about the time Salazar had his stroke. Few people outside of Portugal knew or cared about this dictatorial tyrant who wielded power on the Iberian Peninsula alongside his more well-known Spanish Fascist contemporary the despot Francisco Franco.
I lived in Portugal as a Fulbright Fellow in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War. While my main project was to photograph archeological surveys I couldn't help seeing the plight of the people living under the extreme nightmare of Salazar’s dictatorship. Even though it was against the government’s stated wishes – and in some cases its laws - I was drawn to photograph the Portuguese people who I came to love. Salazar managed to be hated by everyone in Portugal – the right, the left, the poor and the rich. The one class that didn’t hate him was the middle class because there was none.
These are not pictures of people at war but of people in submission. There are no military strong-arm pictures here but instead pictures of a class divide of great magnitude. Even a photograph of an obedient soldier feels submissive in his pose and lonely in his attitude.
These photographs represent the many months I spent documenting the people, the customs and the disparities of the Portuguese people. These prints are the tip of the iceberg. I shot approximately 11,000 negatives in 1968 which yielded over 2,000 prints of which 108 are represented in this collection. I personally made all these prints between the years 1969 and 1971 when my first book was published by Lustrum Press.
Approximately 250 prints reside in the Portuguese Ministry of Culture as of the late 1980s as a remembrance of the horrible days of Antonio Salazar’s reign. A second book was published by the Fundação de Serralves while an exhibition of these prints was shown in November, 1990 at the Fundação de Serralves. I was one of only four foreign photographers to have ever photographed in Portugal up to that time.
Influenced by childhood experiences of growing up in rural Oklahoma, Jon Ervin uses photography to explore the confusion and frustration that is ingrained in American male culture today. Ervin examines the framework of masculinity that men abide by everyday in order to expose discrepancies and absurdities. Targeting the nostalgia, excess, and aggressive nature of the masculinity, he questions what is authenticality a masculine identity.
In the Los Angeles suburb of San Fernando Valley, Wednesday night was cruise night. A long stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard would be packed with kids and cars from all over Southern California – the place to show off your ride.
In the summer of 1972, photographer Rick McCloskey went to Van Nuys to shoot this series of photographs, the culture on the boulevard had become an amalgamation of various lifestyles, automobiles, and very different looks and styles. The tribes included surfers, low-riders, muscle cars, street racers, and even “retro” styles from the 1950s. McCloskey’s photos offer a fascinating portrayal of the young people, their cars, and iconic backgrounds; a world that has long since vanished.