Revolutionary Biographies

During the Cultural Revolution of 1966–1976, photography was used for a variety of purposes, from social documentation to official governmental papers and individual legacies. Working on History at Museum für Fotografie, Berlin, looks into these sources of representation to better understand contemporary Chinese art as a cultural ecosystem.

A German-Chinese team of curators – Ludger Derenthal (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), Wang Huangsheng (CAFA), Guo Xiaoyan (Minsheng Art Museum) – use a historical lens to look for the meaning behind these various sources of image-making, exploring the use of photography as propaganda, down to the personal narratives through the quotidian. Featured artists include: Cai Dongdong, Cao Kai, Mo Yi, Wang Qingsong, Wang Youshen, Zhang Dali, Mu Chen, Qu Yan, Shao Yinong, Zhang Kechun, Feng Mengbo, Hai Bo, He Chongyue, Maleonn, Song Yongping, Wang Ningde and Zhuang Hui.

Working on History: Contemporary Chinese Photography and the Cultural Revolution opens 18 August at Museum für Fotografie, Berlin. For more information:

1. Shao Yinong & Mu Chen, Assembly Hall series – Yangzheng, 2003. C-Print, 120 x 168 cm. © Shao Yinong & Mu Chen.