• Date
      2016.09.24 - 2017.02.19
    • Artist
      Liz Hingley
    • Curator
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  • Images

Portrait of Xi'an 2: "Resonance"

Liz Hingley Photo Project

For this photo-focused project, OCAT Xi’an invited the Shanghai-based British photographer Liz Hingley to bring her eye to creating a portrait of Xi’an today – understanding portrait in the widest sense of looking at a place and capturing something distinctive of its essence. A stranger to the city, during her initial visit, Liz Hingley was struck by Xi’an’s rich cultural history. This impression prompted her interest in looking at how this history is being passed on and transformed through the recent generations. Her photographic journey was guided by exchanges that she shared with the young people she encountered, and who were largely part of Xi’an’s distinctive music scene. Liz spent time at the unique Shaanxi Artistic Vocational College, famed for teaching the “authentic” Qing Opera style of performance to 300 Shaanxi young people every year. Sensitive to the significance of music within Xi’an’s culture, Liz also captured the fans at the Strawberry Music Festival in the summer of 2016. She discovered "Return to Zero", a self-sustaining ecological community established in and around centuries old cave houses by its native son Rafael Luo. 
“Resonance” projects a fusion of the old and the new, both in its subject matter and medium. The resulting photographs explore the weaving together of tradition with contemporary life. In keeping with the blend of traditions with the present, of the overlap where old meet news, Liz captured her images with an old Seagull camera, the well-known Chinese brand, and using expired film that was purchased online via Taobao. The rolls of film have been processed at Johnny Zhang's photo studio in Xi'an, which overlooks the ancient city wall.
This work is the product of collaboration and thanks to the immensely generous support and trust of many. OCAT Xi’an and Liz Hingley would like to thank Hu Jie, Rafael Lou, Alvin, Li Jing, Carl Lee, Simon Gee, Johnny Zhang, Giulia, Ma Fei, Shuangxi from Black Head, Shaanxi Artistic Vocational College and all those who agreed to be photographed.

About the Artist

Liz Hingley is a British photographer and anthropologist. She holds a first class BA Honours in Photography, and an MSc in Social Anthropology with distinction from University College London. She is also an Honorary Research Fellow of Department of Philosophy and Theology in the University of Birmingham and an active member of the Migration Research Unit, University College London. In 2013, she moved to China as a Visiting Scholar of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Liz is currently resident in Shanghai, and she is the second of the two photographers-in-residence to visit Xi’an for projects organised by OCAT Xi’an in 2016.


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