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07.05.2010

 

Between Exploitation and Propaganda : Gao Lei's 'From Gaza to Beijing' documents the truth and its contradictions

Gao Lei documents moving places and people. He travelled to the Gaza Strip, the Sahara, inner Mongolia and through his home country of China. He sees his calling as documenting the truth – and all its contradictions. The ‘From Gaza to Beijing’ exhibition is his first in the United States.

"I started taking photographs due to the influence of some words I read as a child: 'What the eye sees is real, what the ears hear is false.'...I'm the kind of person who seeks after perfection and truth; to use photography, this instrument for telling lies, to pursue these goals is for the most part to engage in a fruitless battle with yourself,” says Lei.

The exhibition focuses on four stations: in the first, ‘Gaza’, Lei captures the rugged landscapes of the borderland with its inhabitants and contradictoriness. The series was realised in 2004. In 2008, he centred his work on the Olympic Sanda champions, whose sport is similar to kick boxing. This resulted in ‘The Boxers’.

The photographs from ‘Panorama’ and ‘Infrared’ are based on the Chinese landscape, exploitation and propaganda.

Gao Lei was born in1965. He first studied English, then switched to Hydro Mechanics and finally graduated from Speos Photographic Institute, France. Since 2005, he has lived and worked as photographer in Peking.

Wu Hung curated the exhibition, which will run until 19 June.


Gao Lei – From Gaza to Beijing
Walsh Gallery
2nd Floor
118 N. Peoria Street
Chicago

Until 19 June 2010

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING

FROM GAZA TO BEIJING