Beyond Mao

A view of China through the lens

Beyond Mao

Photography and China

by Claire Roberts

Reaktion Books (NewSouth), $49.99 pb, 200 pp, 9781861899118

China’s extraordinary economic and cultural ascent during the past two decades has generated significant international interest in Chinese contemporary art, especially in photography now widely promoted in the West as ‘Chinese new art’. Since it was first introduced to China in the 1840s, photography has languished somewhat, overshadowed by the traditional arts of brush painting, calligraphy, and ceramics, which have for centuries defined ‘Chinese art’. Historically, photography (and film) in China have been relegated to the status of reportage or propaganda, used by the state to instruct, indoctrinate, and unify its people.

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Published in April 2013 no. 350
Sophie McIntyre

Sophie McIntyre

Sophie McIntyre is a curator, writer, and lecturer with expertise in contemporary art from Taiwan and China. In 2012, at the Australian National University, she completed a PhD on Taiwan art and identity politics during the post-martial law era. She has worked in art museums for more than fifteen years and has curated several exhibitions of art from Taiwan and mainland China.

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