Zhe Chen

Chen Zhe is a photographer from Beijing, and a graduate from the school of photography at the Pasadena Art Institute. After documenting her own experience of self-infliction in the 2010 series “The Bearable”, Chen went on to photograph the lives of those with similar histories in her series, “Bees”. The series took a total of four years to complete, with the process involving the completion of tattoos, self-inflicted wounds, and even self-inflicted bodily modifications. Chen called these individuals “Bees”, because “[when] faced with chaos, violence, alienation and irredeemable losses in life, [they] feel propelled to leave physical traces and markings on their bodies.” In order to preserve and corroborate a pure and sensitive mind from within.Over the course of this four year process, Chen found for herself a certain sense of healing. “Bees” got the Inge Morath Award from Magnum Foundation in 2011.Zhe Chen is a fine art photographer originally from Beijing, China and is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Chen graduated from Art Center College of Design with her BFA in photography in the summer of 2010. Within the past year, Chen’s work has been exhibited in multiple galleries in New York, France, and China. For the past four years she’s been investigating and documenting self-inflicted activities of her own and others. This work is from her Bees project. She writes:To jeopardize existence for existence itself: ‘Bees’ recorded a marginalized group of people in China, who, faced with chaos, violence, alienation and irredeemable losses in life, feels propelled to leave physical traces and markings on their bodies, in order to preserve and corroborate a pure and sensitive mind from within. In 2010, having ‘The Bearable’ (a photo series documenting my own self-infliction in the past 4 years) as my passport, I had the opportunity to develop a close relationship with some of these obstinate souls – the bees. During the process of exchanging secrets with them, I crossed path with certain possibilities that were formerly unachieved but towards which I had struggled greatly in my personal life. I’m struck by the unyielding actions and reactions they carry on with while encountering sudden and acute emotional fluxes, and moved by the recurrent effort they make to recover themselves afterwards. No matter how different our lives seem to be, we undoubtedly shared common psychological experiences.I intend my photographs to inquire upon society’s prejudice and preconception towards this community, and not to become illustrations or pictorial evidence for the topic at hand: every subject is an individual, not just ‘one of them’– his or her life cannot be predicted or dictated by any constructed social code or notion. Not everyone is strong, some are just naturally more sensitive. When the dust settles, some wave their hands and walk away, and others soak it up and digest it. When they feel weak, the bees come up with a rather alternative solution to carry them through the hardships.I hope a first glance of my work conveys the idea of secrecy and sentiments, under which lies information awaiting exposure and recognition: like an index page pointing towards all the unanswered questions. The viewers will never be in direct communication with these bees, unfortunately. They can only see the images and read the words. What is the best way to summarize the reason for our existence? After all, we are only human. I feel responsible to be part of this dialogue.

Lin Zhipeng (NO.223)

Lin Zhipeng aka NO.223, 1979, China, is a photographer based in Beijing who works in a very intuitive fashion. His photography shows the Chinese youth of today with sex and chaotic love as recurring themes. The photographs that are made using a very direct and hard flash, showing a youth culture the way he does, are relatively new to come from a country as China. The "snap-shot" images reveal a new Chinese generation, allowing us viewers to see them while they party, shower, hang-out, kiss and smoke. His work has been published in several books as New Photography in China and in numerous magazines as Vice, S Magazine and Dazed and Confused. He has been exhibited mainly in China, but also in Europe and the USA. The following images come from the portfolios Portfolio 09, Portfolio 07 and Polaroid.

Why you started to work with photography?
In fact, photography is not my work. I just a hobbyist of photography. After I taking a photo for 1 or 2 years, I always can fine plenty of mood in it now. So I keep shooting any kind of photos around my life.
How you can describe your style?
Selfhood, impromptu, sex and young.
How you create an image?
Anytime I can create an image because I carry a camera every day. I don’t use any decoration after I taking a photo. So, the photos you see all are the original image as the moment I taking them.
Can you tell us who is your favourite photographer?
Now is Wolfgang Tillmans.
Can you make sex with photos or you can make a photo with sex ?
If somebody want.. I can make sex with photos.haha. But most of the second one.

Lin’s snapshot aesthetic is the outcome of a spontaneous process: “Most photographers have some idea of what they want to shoot, but I have no idea. I follow the models or my friends, then I follow my mind”. This results in images that are in your face and unforgettable.

Photographer, artist and magazine creator, LIN ZHIPENG is a leading figure of new Chinese photography for his ability to capture the volatile, primal energy of the Chinese youths of today.
He has contributed to numerous popular lifestyle and fashion magazines in China as editor and writer and has produced photo shoots for magazines such as Vice, Glass, City Pictorial and more recently for S Magazine. In 2007 he published the independent fashion magazine project TOO and in 2005, 2006 and 2010 published three volumes of photography entitled My Private Broadway. His curatorial work includes the exhibitions TOO SHOT! Fashion×Photography in Get It Louder, Eco-matter,(2008) at ARRTCO in Beijing and vision music show Time, Dust, Hormone (2009) at Mao Live House in Beijing.

Muge (Muge Huang Rong 木格)

Muge Huang Rong (aka: Muge, 木格) was born in 1979 in Chongqing, China. He graduated from Sichuan Normal University in 2004 and now lives and works in Chengdu.
Contrary to most peoples first impression, Muges work is not photo-journalistic, but rather autobiographical, and is focused around the main theme of longing and belonging. His most prolific efforts up to now have been two series titled Go Home and Silence, both of which consist of black and white square-formatted photographs of people from the Three Gorges area, along the Yangtze river. Against the background of an area he calls home and that has suffered great changes over time (due to the construction of the biggest hydroelectric river dam in the world), Muges photographs addresses the relationship between a persons sense of home as a place and the concept of space undergoing constant 
He is currently a lecturer at the College of Radio and Film at Chengdu University of Technology.  Mu Ge has held solo exhibitions at Zen Photo Gallery in Tokyo and Anastasia Photo Gallery in New York and has participated in Contemporary Chinese Photography.  Katonah Museum of Art.NEW York (2012).festivals including PhotoOff (2011), France; Savignano Immagini La Fotografia (2010), Italy; Caochangdi PhotoSpring festival (2010), China; Arles Photography Festival (2010), France, and Format International Photography Festival Biennale 2009, UK. In 2011 he was nominated for the Foam Paul Huf Award in the Netherlands. His photographs have been featured in publications such as The New York Times, EYEMAZING, Le Monde magazine, LIFEMAGAZINE, FOTO 8, and Chinese Photography. Muge's work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Ontario Toronto Canada, Muge In 2011 he was nominated for the Foam Paul Huf Award in the Netherlands.


Adou (b. 1973, Mianyang, Sichuan Province) graduated from the Fine Arts Department of the Sichuan Aba Normal College in 1995. Following graduation, he worked as a design and creative director in the advertising field for nearly a decade.
Inspired by the documentary photography of Julia Margaret Cameron, Robert Frank, Sally Mann and August Sander, Adou began photographing the people and places around him. The Samalada series, for example, depicts the Yi ethnic minority on Da Liang Mountain in the artists native Sichuan Province. Adous portraits and landscapes do not seek to portray individuals or illustrate specific moments, but collectively represent a visual expression of his culture and, by extension, of the photographer himself.
Adous photographs have been shown throughout China and Japan in exhibitions including Chengdu Photographers Three Person Exhibition at the International Photography Festival in Pingyao (2005), the Lianzhou Photography Festival in Guangdong Province (2006), Outward Expressions, Inward Reflections at the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing (2007), and the MIO Retrospective Exhibition in Kyoto (2007).
Adou is the recipient of the Grand Prize at the Japan MIO International Young Photographers Competition for his series Public Buses & Chinese People (2005) and the KLM Paul Huf Award in the Netherlands (2007).
A monograph of Adous work is included in the multi-volume set Outward Expressions, Inward Reflections (Three Shadows Press, 2007).
Adou lives and works in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

Ma Liuming

Ma Liuming began making his nude performance pieces in Beijing in the early 1990s, usually in front of a small circle of friends. With long hair and feminine features, he uses his androgynous look as an important part of his art and wears make-up to transform his face into his female alter ego, Fen. In the earlier works he would sit naked on a platform, while in later works, such as Fen Ma Liuming in Lyon (France) from 2001, he is also drugged with sleeping pills that render him essentially motionless. Those in attendance are then invited to come on stage and take a picture with the artist. Some pose at his feet, others disrobe and sit next to him, most engage the limp body as a prop. Audience reaction varies from country to country. Their expressions vary from amusement to challenge to adoration, but their awareness of the camera (and its importance in provoking their reaction) is never in question.\par
Ma Liuming was born in 1969 in Huangshi, Hubei Province, China. He graduated from the Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, Hubei, China in 1991 with a focus in oil painting. He has performed and exhibited work internationally, including such countries as Switzerland, Italy, Austria, China, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the USA. Between 2000 and 2003 alone he has had solo performances and exhibitions at Soobin Art Gallery, Singapore; Tensta Konsthall, Sweden; Gallery Q, Tokyo, Japan; Studio 303, part of Festival Art Action Actual, Montreal, Canada; Les Subsistances TM, part of Polysonneries Festival, Lyon, France; Kunsthallen Brandst Kladefabrik, part of 3rd International Performance Festival, Odense, Denmark; Imperial Mint, part of the 7th International Isanbul Biennial; Dilston Grove Church, part of Span2 International Performance Art, London; Teater Utan Kayu, Jakarta, Indonesia; Kwangju Biennale, Kwangju, Korea; Kunstraum, Germany, part of Performance Art in NRW 2000; and Baan Chao Praya, part of the 3rd International Performance Art Festival, Bangkok, Thailand. He currently lives and works in Beijing

Ma Liuming (born 1969 in Huangshi, Hubei province) is a contemporary Chinese painter and pioneer of performance art. He is known most of all for his exploration of the power and poetry of public nudity in China, where such behavior was strictly forbidden. That is why he has been the target of government censorship, unable to perform in his own country for most of his career.
In 1981 Ma Liuming started to study oil painting with tutor Cai Erhe. He graduated from Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in 1991 (MFA) in the Oil Painting Department. Two years later, he was one of the founders of Beijing East Village, an artists colony on the outskirts of Beijing. In the early 1990s it became a Mecca for experimental art forms. One of Ma Liumings first performances was called "Fen-Ma Liumings Lunch 1", a collaboration with Zhang Huan and Zhu Ming in 1994. He sat, completely nude, sucking a plastic tube that was attached to his penis. In 1994 Ma Liuming was arrested for a period of two months because of works like this. Many of the artists of the Beijing East Village fled in response to this police action.
In order to match his own uniquely androgynous appearance Ma Liuming developed his own performance persona Fen-Ma Liuming, a hybrid figure of male and female components.
Next to performances painting is a key component in his works. Since 2000, he has developed his "Baby series", in which the face of Fen-Ma Liuming appears on infants bodies. It is a surrealistic image that is both disturbing and laughable. Throughout different mediums such as performance, painting and photography Ma Liuming continues to investigate the limits of provocation, seducing his audience into an inquiry of more intriguing matters.