Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Next Exhibition - Zhang Yaxin, Model Opera, Opening January 26th


ZHANG YAXIN
Model Opera


Exhibition Dates: January 26 – February 23, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26, 2-5 pm

The gallery is pleased to present the first North American exhibition of Zhang Yaxin’s photographs of the “Model Operas.”
 
 Raid on the White Tiger Regiment, 1971

In China, the model operas were planned and engineered during the Cultural Revolution by Jiang Qing, the wife of Chairman Mao Zedong. As Communist Party-sanctioned operas, they were considered "revolutionary" and modern in terms of thematic and musical features when compared with traditional Peking operas.
 
Azalea Mountain, 1974

Originally, a total of eight productions were made; six operas and two ballets. During the latter part of the Cultural Revolution, several other productions were completed. According to some sources, they were the only forms of artistic expression allowed in China at the time. Traditional Peking opera was considered bourgeois and had been banned. The operas were made in accordance with Mao’s provision that “art must serve the interests of the workers, peasants, and soldiers and must conform to proletarian ideology.” 

Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, 1969

Zhang Yaxin is a Chinese photographer, born in 1933. He graduated from the photography department of Changchun Film Academy and joined the Xinhua News Agency as a staff reporter in 1963. This exhibition highlights the still photographs he made of the revolutionary model operas from 1969 to 1976. The plots of these operas are based on stories of labouring people struggling and fighting for happiness. They were made into films for promotion nationwide.  Yaxin’s still photographs of the characters and scenes were printed on posters, stamps and craftworks. It was a mass commercial campaign even though people did not understand it in such terms. As the dominant art form in people's lives for approximately ten years, the revolutionary model operas and their impact on society are now the subject of much analysis from a pop culture perspective.

Song of the Yimeng Mountain, 1975

Yaxin was chosen as the chief photographer by the Party Leaders and he worked under the close scrutiny of Jiang Qing. He used one of only three Hassleblad cameras in China at that time and had an unlimited amount of colour KODAK film at his disposal, whereas other photographers in his agency were allotted only three rolls of colour film per year. Working with a stage carpenter, he fashioned a box to encase the camera so that he could photograph during performances without interrupting the sound recording. He devoted eight years of his life photographing the model operas, which assembled China’s best playwrights and performers.

张雅心
样板戏
一月二十六日-- 二月二十三日,2013

在中国的文化大革命中,毛泽东主席的妻子江青策划和主导设计了样板戏。由共产党所认可的这种戏剧形式被认为是革命的,同时和传统京剧相比,在戏剧形式和音乐特质上又是现代的。

八部样板戏最初由六部京剧和两部芭蕾舞剧构成,在文革后期,又增加了另外几部。据说,这是当时中国唯一被允许的艺术表达形式。传统京剧被认为具有资产阶级情调而禁止了。样板戏则是遵从毛关于艺术必须符合无产阶级意识形态,为工农兵服务的规则而创制。

张雅心出生于1933年,他从长春电影学院摄影系毕业后,于1963年进入新华通讯社担任摄影记者。本次展览将展示他于1969年至1976年间所拍摄的样板戏剧照。样板戏的基本情节是劳动人民如何为幸福生活而挣扎奋斗,为了利于在全国范围内的广泛传播,被翻拍成电影。张雅心所拍摄的这些人物和场景的电影剧照,当时被大量印刷在海报、邮票、以及各种工艺品上,其实质不亚于一场大规模的商业推广,只是在当时的中国,人们并不熟悉这样的词汇。作为主导人民生活长达十年的艺术形式,革命现代样板戏现今则更多的被从波普文化的角度分析。

张雅心其时被党甄选为拍摄样板戏的主力摄影师,在江青的直接指导下工作。他使用哈苏相机拍摄,这是当时中国仅有的三部哈苏之一。他还获准无限量的使用柯达彩色胶卷,而他的新华社同事们每年只能分配到3个彩色胶卷。在拍摄电影剧照时,为了不妨碍现场录音,他和一名舞美木工一起,制造了一个可以装载相机的木盒,以隔绝快门声。张雅心用8年的时间拍摄样板戏,这些戏剧汇集了当时中国最好的剧作家和演员。此次展览为张雅心样板戏影像在北美的首次呈现
 

FREE Saturday Afternoon Screenings at CAMERA
3:00 PM



January 26

RED DETACHMENT OF WOMEN

A ballet photographed by Zhang Yaxin in 1973 as part of the Model Operas.



February 2

FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE

Dir. Kaige Chen (China: 1993), 171 min.



February 9

THE WHITE HAIRED GIRL

A ballet photographed by Zhang Yaxin in 1977 as part of the Model Operas.



February 16

THE RED VIOLIN

Dir. François Girard (Canada; 1998), 130 min.



February 23

MAO’S LAST DANCE

Dir. Bruce Beresford (Australia: 2009), 117 min

No comments: