French Focus on China, 1844-2014
Curator Alain Sayag
02.04 – 28.04
Today Art Museum
12.05 – 25.05
World Financial Centre Beijing
Beijing Four Seasons
To narrate history from the point of view of the countless French soldiers, diplomats, missionaries, artists or humble travelers who've attempted for over one and a half century to translate their fascination for China and its inhabitants using the medium of photography.
Precisely such a narrative, mixing famous examples with lesser known ones, is what inspired this exhibit to come to fruition.
China from the age of exploration, China as described by the first diplomats to have taken up their posts there, China and its potential for travel, Mao's China or contemporary China, the many faces of China reveal themselves in an exhibit that appeals as much to Chinese audience members as it does to Western ones.
We start off with the pictures regarded as the first to have been taken in China, a mere ten years after the invention of the picture-taking process by Mr. Daguerre was made available to the public by the French state. Gradually, we proceed further in time, putting special emphasis on exceptional prints hailing from the most prestigious photographic collections of France.