Group Exhibition

»A Chinese Journey. Experimental Ink«

Rosemarie Zens

…as guest artist of an exhibition of the Society for German-Chinese Cultural Exchange (GeKA, Prof. Yu Zhang 张彧, Founder & Chairwoman).
In cooperation with Stiftung Starke, Berlin.
Photographs from the book »Moon Rabbit. The Chinese Journey«, Kehrer Verlag 2020.

At the beginning of her travels to China in 1998, Rosemarie Zens found a predominantly agrarian multi-ethnic state and initially photographed mainly landscapes and everyday scenes in urban and rural situations that reminded her of pre-modern times in our Western world. Within a time-frame of twenty years, groundbreaking developments took place, such as the technical transition from analog to digital photography on the one hand, and a rapid structural change within Chinese society on the other. The memorable photographs show how China increasingly orients itself towards Western culture and how homogenizing forces such as science, technology and the global market influence individual life. On various levels, however, the images also bear witness to how the precarious developments reflect our own approach to the world, while traces of the spirituality of ancient Chinese culture can still be found in the style of the images.

“The simultaneous existence of the seemingly untimely with the timeliness of a mere extension of the present had such a profoundly disconcerting and disquieting effect that I began to capture in pictures the restructuring of a society characterized by the ever more, the ever larger, and the ever faster. It included new mass construction schemes and the remains of ancient residential quarters, the changes in infrastructure and the circumstances of internal migration, as well as the digitization of daily life, the surveillance and the social credit system.”

Rosemarie Zens‘ photographic work is concerned with the question of how the interconnection of history and biography can be represented and what role images play in our self-understanding. She writes: Addressing such questions may be due to my professional career, founded as it is on studies of history, literature and psychoanalysis. In the course of my professional activities, I came to realize that we cannot help but live and think in images. Through images we face our curiosity for the unexpected and, as we search for our place in the world, we follow our longing for existential reassurance. It is through images that we develop our powers of imagination and judgement. We use them to re-enact scenarios, just as we do in our dreams and in our thoughts. And through them, ideally, we learn to evaluate the authenticity of the images themselves.

For me, photography – of all the arts – plays a pivotal role in this context. Indeed, photography’s technological ability to capture living moments and to condense emotions corresponds in the most brilliant way to our selective perception of the outer world and our fragmentary recollections of our inner worlds. However, the enigma of visibility is not solved in pictures, but doubled. What we see is itself invisible, a game with time. And a reflection of ourself.

Feb 1 — Mar 15, 2022

Koenigsallee 30-32, 14193 Berlin
[District: Grunewald | Borough: Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf]

Opening hours: Mon – Thu 9:30 am – 5 pm, Fri 9:30 am – 2:30 pm, and by appointment with Mr. Stülper: +49 176 32 10 16 18

Admission free

+++ Please pay attention to the current Corona regulations of the respective gallery/institution. +++ Bitte beachten Sie die aktuellen Corona-Bestimmungen der jeweiligen Galerie/Institution.

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