And the China Adventure Comes to an End

Well I’m back, exhausted, but still on a high from such an incredible adventure. The last few days in Shanghai were a whirlwind of exploring neighborhoods, visiting museums and galleries, and shopping. Lots of shopping.

Dave Anderson in the old town area - China's Chinatown

I had to buy another bag to lug home all of the crap I bought (Lishui Walmart special, two out of three straps have already broken), and I think the bag purchase, coupled with the additional bag check fees, have cancelled out all of the hard-driving deals I made. But hey, panda bear earmuffs are forever.

But I would be seriously remiss if I didn’t talk about some of the great photography I saw in Lishui. After all, photography is the reason I went to China (just a bonus were the tea sets, beaded bracelets, kid-size traditional dresses, Mao hats, strap on wheels for your shoes, tshirts, leather bound journals. . . Wow, I have a lot of crap).

The Lishui Photography Festival was spread throughout the city in numerous sites. Our exhibition was on the grounds of an old oil factory with multiple buildings, all housing shows. You could spend hours just viewing the work at our site alone, and I spent time on several different days looking at all of the exhibitions.

The coordinator for the Americans’ show, Yan, has generously agreed to help me coordinate a show of four Chinese photographers I was particularly drawn to. I am hoping to be able to exhibit the work this summer.

Zhu Danyang photographs Chinese youth at night

Zhang Fan uses figures and calligraphy in his imagery

love Li Wei's video installation

Gorgeous black and white images from this photographer - researching her name

In addition to seeing some spectacular Chinese photography, it was exciting to discover the work of some American photographers who were curated in to our exhibition. I curated a show of Dave Anderson’s One Block work and Rachel Barrett’s Bolinas series. It was very portrait heavy, which I loved, and I thought their work played nicely off each other and represented the given theme, “American Life”.

I got to see some photography in person that I had previously only admired online, including the two photographers Melanie McWhorter brought – Susan Worsham (love, love, LOVE) and Jesse Burke (lots of love there too).  And then I saw some work that was brand new to me, which is always thrilling.  By far my favorite is the work of Ben Huff.  Stunning.  Do not walk.  Run over to his site to see his The Last Road North work.

All in all an amazing trip filled with fun people, interesting sites, and beautiful photography.


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