Chen Nong at Reflex

24 August 2012

On September 29th Galerie Alex Daniels/Reflex Amsterdam launches the first Dutch exhibition of the works of Chinese photographer Chen Nong; Climbing to Moon. The exhibition will run until November 3rd.

Chen Nong is one of China’s most extraordinary contemporary photographers. His work exudes the same energy as the hand-coloured black & white films from the late 19th and early 20th century. The photographs, which are meticulously researched and assembled by the artist, are shot in black & white on silver gelatine paper using an antique camera, then hand-painted in a wide variety of colours, creating the vintage, burnished and hyper-realist and expressionistic effect. The result is a wide array of awesomely beautiful and captivating images that play homage to historic Chinese events.

Nong’s work is more filmic than photographic, as the scenes depicted are grand and full of drama. They are as epic as the research that goes into producing them: he generally spends over a year carefully researching and preparing each photograph, sketching out details and then going on trips throughout China to find the perfect location to shoot it in. When he finds his ideal backdrop, Nong assembles a cast consisting of locals and friends, builds an elaborate set and creates his vision onto celluloid.

His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries all over the world, such as MoMa, New York, but he remains modest: most of the proceeds from the sale of his pieces are invested in funding new artworks. The exhibition at Reflex Amsterdam will include a variety of Nong’s photographs as well as his preparatory sketches. A small selection of the photographs will also be exhibited at the 1st edition of UNSEEN, Amsterdam’s Photography Art Fair, from September 19th to September 23rd.To coincide with the exhibition at Reflex, a beautiful book has been published which will be available through Famous Auction House.

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