China Underground > Events > WANDERING – The Photography of Xiao Ribao

WANDERING – The Photography of Xiao Ribao

Date(s) - 30/08/2019 - 30/09/2019
10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

Location Address 155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District

City Beijing



Three Shadows Photography Art Centre is delighted to present the Xiao Ribao photography exhibition: “Wandering” The concept of “Wandering” in Chinese evokes traveling between different times and dimensions, a way of living in which personal emotions produce an uncertain sense of belonging.

WANDERING – The Photography of Xiao Ribao

Organizer: Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
Artist: Xiao Ribao
Opening reception: 16:00, August 30, 2019
Artist talk: 15:00, September 1, 2019
Darkroom workshop: September 20, 2019
Duration: August 30 – September 29, 2019 (10:00-18:00 Closed on Mondays)
Location: Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
(155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100015)

《归去-4》, 2017 80×47cm,无酸 收藏艺术纸 Returning 4, 2017 – 80×47cm, Acid-free paper for artwork collection, Image ©Ribao Xiao

Xiao Ribao is a wanderer, his past experience as a “Beijing drifter” shaping his sense of existence and profoundly informing his photography. Originally from Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, he began to study darkroom at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2000 and is also one of the foremost darkroom experts in the country. He brings a keen sense to his work that everything contained in a photo, while offering a glimpse into his own core, is only but a brief shaft of light, its momentary existence suspended by the film. This exhibition represents the tension in Xiao’s thinking about the human spirit.

《云山图-3》局部, 2016 98×400cm,无酸 收藏艺术纸 Part, The Mountain in Mist 3, 2016 – 98×400cm, Acid-free paper for artwork collection, Image ©Ribao Xiao

This exhibition consists five different parts: “The Mountain in Mist”, “Returning”, “The Snow on the Mountain”, “Three Frogs” and “Untitled” inspired by the idea driving Chinese landscape painting — that portrayals of objects can express one’s emotions – Xiao created many of these works while hiking in the mountains or alongside rivers. These photos internally connect to Xiao’ sever lasting longing for a sense of belongings. Xiao used birds and frogs as metaphors to urge human beings to establish spiritual order out of the disorder of nature.

《无题-2》, 2016 80×60cm,无酸 收藏艺术纸 Untitled 2, 2016 – 80×60cm, Acid-free paper for artwork collection, Image ©Ribao Xiao

In many ways, Xiao establishes his work in the spiritual realm of some ancient poems like the anatta (“self=unconsciousness”). “Winter waves shimmer, hundreds of birds hovering down gently,” writes Haowen Yuan. Or look towards Yanji Feng: “My tearful eyes ask flowers but they fail to bring an answer, I see red blooms over the swing.”In his work, Xiao utilizes his meticulous knowledge of black-and-white darkroom techniques, combing the Taoist “inaction” methodology to probe the relationship between nature, society and human beings. Through the spiritual practice of black-and-white photography, he constructs a subjective world containing contrasts between “self and non-self.” “real and non-real.” “illusion and existence” and Yin and Yang. His process hints at the underlying law of nature.

《归去-1》, 2017 80×53.3cm,无酸 收藏艺术纸 Returning 1 , 2017 – 80×53.3cm, Acid-free paper for artwork collection, Image ©Ribao Xiao

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