A photography exhibition focusing on children – their growing pains, family bonding and social changes over the past 70 years – is currently on at the Being Art Museum during the summer vacation.
The exhibition, titled “Your Childhood, My Memories,” includes 10 sets or 99 pieces of installations and photographs by established snappers like Cai Yirong, Hu Jieming, Lu Yuanmin, Lei Lei and Ma Liang.
This display isn’t just about childhood memories. It says more.
Children are an inevitable motif in contemporary photography art, making people reevaluate parent-child closeness and how social evolution impacts a child’s growth.
“All the photographers exhibiting here are of different ages and backgrounds. They’ve captured images of children from different generations with rich techniques and artistic languages,” said Gu Zheng, a Fudan University professor and the curator of the exhibition.
“These works remind us that childhood and childishness are more than a cursory interpretation of innocence or purity.”
Hu Jieming’s black-and-white photograph “the Son” was taken in 2008 on top of an old building on the Bund. His son, Hu Weiyi, a skinny teenage boy at the time, sat topless on the brim of the architecture’s high dome, turned his back to the camera and looked out over the city’s busy, chaotic streets under construction. The city’s remarkable skyline is obscured by the mist rising from the Huangpu River.
It’s a dialogue of contradiction between a small, slight boy with a sensitive heart and a big, wide world with an uncertain future. It also reveals the angle of the father, looking out at his son and into the boy’s future.
Photographer Lu Yuanmin, who has been photographing city streets for four decades, documented how children lived and played in the 1990s.
The children in his photographs have complex facial expressions, not idealized or even romanticized images.
They dressed solemnly in business suits, stood high on the podium delivering speeches, or reclined in deck chairs like elderly grandmothers. The artist’s approach, rather than stereotypes, demonstrates his understanding of children and presents their complexities.
Date: Through September 18 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5pm
Venue: Being Art Museum
Address: 135 Hongfeng Road, Pudong New Area