Text by Li Xianting, Zhu Qi, Liu Ding.
Published by Blue Kingfisher/Today Art Museum
Photographer Hong Lei, who was born in 1960 in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, fuses a variety of photographic techniques, including digital collage and hand dyeing. Drawing on the painting style of the Song Dynasty, which utilized round silk fans, Hong updates these familiar historical works by juxtaposing traditional elements with tropes and techniques drawn from advertising. One of his familiar symbols, for example, is taken from the popularity of bird imagery in Song Dynasty paintings--but Hong's birds are dead, and depicted in the super-slick, digitized language of a fashion ad. When asked about the meaning behind his grim symbols, Hong drops Martin Heidegger's quote, "I face reality with my eyes closed tight." This in-depth monograph includes essays by critics Li Xianting and Zhu Qi and artist Liu Ding.
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