Beijing Exchange at Weisman

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On August 28th student in the Beijing Exchange program discussed their individual works in a forum held in the Shepherd Auditorium in the Fredrick Weisman Museum. The images they discussed are part of the project Mirror/Window.

Students commented on their images and their interpretation of the theme. It was marvelous to have Lyndel King, the Director of the Weisman there and the Chinese students and faculty were thrilled to see the work in the Museum

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Image / Transition

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Beijing Collaborative Exchange at the Fredrick R. Weisman Museum

Image / Transition

From June 27 to December 10 the Weisman Museum at the University of Minnesota hosts the exhibition of photographic and video work from three themed projects in the Target Gallery.

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Themes used for the BFA exchanges:

2010 -11
Weiji Crisis = Opportunity

Weiji, an idiomatic term that might be considered a concept rather than something definable, implies that when encountering difficulties there are often many options one can take. The idea of a crisis, real or insinuated can often take us from our normal course and redirect our attention to alternate ideas, requiring us to rethink our assumptions and open our minds to new opportunities. As such, the students from the Schools of Photography at the Beijing Film Academy and the Art Department of the University of Minnesota have constructed visual analogies to the concept of Weiji or Crisis = Opportunity.

Transition: Change, evolution, transform

We awaken each day to new circumstances, circumstances that require new understanding, tolerance, and awareness. The nature of existence is accommodating to change, and how we manage that change is what determines our success. The ability to use the accumulated knowledge that we have gained through experience, education, and training provide the ground upon which we stand, when this ground shifts, do we see this as a crisis or an opportunity?

Mirror/ Window

Mirror/ Window is a topic with multiple possible interpretations -- viewing out to the larger world or turning inward to examine the self. In 1978 MOMA curator of photography John Szarkowski organized an exhibition with this title to explore emerging developments in contemporary American photographic Imaging. This exhibition uses the theme in a much more individual way with the Chinese and American students exploring their diverse visions for the future as well as how they see themselves in the world. Much of this work is positive and "upbeat" with little indication of the strife and anxiety so prevalent in the news.

More information on the Beijing Exchange.

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Katayoun Amjadi

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City of intriguing details









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Rebecca Hoffmann

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Qian Liu in her father's home with her friend Sophie braiding her hair. Qian's father's wood crafting tools, along with Qian's old school artwork and their traces of tradition created an environment that felt both new and comfortable.

An inside look into XuBing art practice.

The Great Wall group photo including Paul Shambroom, Joe Schur, Beth Dow, Katayoun Amjadi, Lorena Molina Araujo, Rebecca Hoffmann, and two Beijing Film Academy students, Yao and YiMei.

A visit to a nearby Chinese medicine university and hospital where students study and practice Chinese medicine. Here the students are filling out orders from the doctors.

Gallery at the Three Shadows Photo Center in Beijing. I found the the galleries in Beijing to be simple, but very appealing with high ceilings, open space, and large, white walls.

Beth Dow

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Paul Shambroom

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Beijing May 23 -- June 5

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Beijing May 23 -- June 5

We have had several studio visits--to Wang Youshen's in the outskirts of Beijing where we were entertained by Mr. Jin Zhang and Liu Pin in a magnificent studio museum space-- Lotus Art, Wang Youshen's studio is here and we had an opportunity to see the work area he has to develop his large scale "Washing" works.

A highlight was being asked to attend the Masters Exhibition opening on the 38th floor of the south SOHO building in the financial District --that was a wonderful experience for our students and a unique experience for the new MFA's from the Film Institute.

It was a great pleasure to be welcomed to the Beijing studio of Xu Bing and to have him discuss his shadow works as well as several large scale installation and public works, one of which is being developed for the Victoria & Albert Museum forecourt in London.

Students and faculty from the BFA and our students, with Paul Shambroom and I, have been entertained at dinners and lunches throughout the visit. Our students have taken the opportunity to explore Beijing on foot, taxi, and subway and have almost become Beijingers.












Wang Youshen

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Wang Youshen.

An artist from Beijing-- his work incorporates photography into place -- with his installation at the Minneapolis Photo Center he transforms the space into a facsimile of the darkroom where he develops the images from his series on the death of his Grandmother at age 93.

At the Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota he incorporates the process into the space, creating the viewer with an understanding of his process of washing the image from the paper on which they were printed.