humanism in china

Humanism in China, the photographic exhibition which started at the Guangzhou Museum of Art in December 2003, and travelled to the Shanghai Museum of Art in May this year is now opening in Beijing at the China National Art Museum.

“Humanism in China” is an astounding collection of 601 photographs taken by 250 photographers from 1951 to 2003. The photos were culled from 100,000 gathered over a year from professional and amateur photographers. Many have never been shown before. Eighty percent of them are black and white and most were taken after the era of reform and opening up began in 1979.

“It’s Chinese people looking at Chinese people, ordinary people looking at ordinary people,” said An Ge, the chief curator and a senior editor at, which co-sponsored the exhibition.

Indeed, the photos are of Chinese looking at Chinese as they eat, sleep, love, commute, mourn, argue, work, give birth, play, relieve themselves, hire prostitutes, apply makeup, visit fortune tellers, recover from drug addiction, exercise, die.