With The Temple Of Heaven As A Backdrop, Beijing’s First Major International Photographic Event, “Power Of The Image,” Will Showcase More Than 200 Pictures From The Archives Of Almost Two Dozen World-Renowned Photographers. Here, A Preview Of Some Of Our Favorite Works
By David Tse
China has had a complex and tumultuous relationship with photography over the last 25 years—who will ever forget the iconic image of the Tian-anmen Square student standing in front of a column of tanks in 1989?” says New York– based Frédéric Lagrange, one of 22 international photographers who will be exhibiting their work at the upcoming “Power of the Image” exhibition in Beijing. “But by showcasing photographic expressions ranging from acclaimed photojournalism, portraitures, landscapes, and fine art, this event will hopefully create a wider interest and inspire many more Chinese people to explore the possibilities that the art of photography has to offer.”
Cohosted by the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, “Power of The Image” (April 25 to May 31) will be the first major event of its kind to visit the Chinese capital, with works from the likes of Steve McCurry, Nadav Kander, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Roman Loranc, Peter Guttman, Art Streiber, Joyce Tenneson, and Lagrange—a longtime contributor to this magazine—displayed on the grounds of the graceful 15th-century Temple of Heaven, itself one of the most photographed sites in Beijing. For residents and visitors alike, the 37-day exhibition will provide an opportunity to examine some of the most arresting images of our time, captured in such far-ranging locales as Sri Lanka, the American West, and the jungles of Papua. Affording an even broader perspective is a concurrent show titled “45 Images that Changed the World.” Held at the new Fuhai Cultural Park, it will present a selection of historical pictures from the archives of upstate New York’s George Eastman House, the former home of the inventor of the Kodak camera and one of the world’s oldest film repositories.
“Since its birth more than 150 years ago, photography has evolved into a complex art that can trigger powerful emotions and passion, teach us about past eras, remote places, and foreign cultures, and change our perception of the world,” Lagrange says. “And that is something that should be shared with all societies.”
This article originally appeared in the April/May 2014 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Through the Lens: Power Trip”).