Artist spotlight: Hu Yang

image by Hu Yang

When viewing ICP's most recent exhibition, Dress Codes, I was not blown away. There is, of course, amazing artists represented within the show- Martha Rosler, Hank Willis Thomas, Lorna Simpson and many more. The curation, overall, felt a bit didactic and did not push too many new ideas out into the world. Maybe too many curators were involved and it felt a little modge-podgey? Or, fashion might just not be my thing...

But, I did discover a gem. Hu Yang is someone I have been exposed to once or twice but I really got a sense of his work in this show and I am impressed and excited.

Very nice multi-media piece made by the New York Times can be viewed here.

In early 2004, photographer Hu Yang began documenting the lives of ordinary Shanghai residents. He originally planned to include 100 households in his survey, but over the course of the year 500 families allowed him to interview and photograph them in their homes. Unlike the New York Times' Faces of Shanghai slideshow, which focused on the middle class consumer culture, this project covers Shanghai residents from a surprisingly wide range of backgrounds. From poor migrant workers to expats to billionaires, nearly all of Shanghai is represented.

While Hu Yang says he hoped to demonstrate some of Shanghai's social problems, such as the gap between the rich and the poor, he presents his work without editorializing. Every photo could stand alone as a candid family portrait.

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