1966 - Fuzhou (China)

Chen Nong

The work of Chen Nong impresses most in relation to how it melds different ideas and thematic levels in a single piece. Chen shows us a hand-colored panorama of black and white photography that highlights eight single images of the Three Gorges Dam. In recent times, this man-made marvel has become an important theme in Chinese culture. In this work, San Xia, an army of terra cotta like soldiers is standing in the foreground, reminiscent of the terra cotta army that was unearthed in China. Here, however, Chen himself created paper costumes for the men in his photo. His use of paper, the Chinese and Asian traditions of origami, and the practice of hand-coloring photography all link to old customs of Chinese culture.

The contrast of heavy terra cotta and lightweight paper, bathed in dramatic lighting, reveals these figures as an army of morality. The panorama recalls a classical style and, in addition, the format of the eight images also reflects the historic Chinese tradition of narration through paper rolls. Similarily, Chen’s panorama continues its narration without a central perspective, but is also added to an ongoing historical narration that invites you to sit down, enter in, and wonder around in his modern fantasy of Chinese reality.

Selected Exhibitions

2017 Silk Road & Scenes of Reflections, Reflex Amsterdam
2016 The Silk Road, 798 Photo gallery, Beijing
2016 Photofairs Shangai
2015 Photo exhibition in Chongqing Art Museum, Chongqing, China
2014 Beauty of Darkness II, REFLEX AMSTERDAM
2014 Dali Photo Festival, Yunnan Province of China
2013 Chen Nong, mc2gallery (solo show) Milan,Italy
“Climbing to moon” Reflex Gallery Amsterdam
2012 Venti d’Oriente, group show mc2gallery Milan,Italy
2009 Melbourn Photo Festival, Australia
2009 China Contemporary Photo Exhibition, Budapest of Hungary
2009 MOMA Photo Exhibition, San Francisco, USA
2008 HERE Chen Nong Photo Exhibition, XYZ Gallery Beijing
2008 Chen Nong Photo Exhibition, Shanghai
2008 Group Exhibition, Shanghai
2007 Chen Nong Photo Exhibition 798 Photo Gallery, Beijing
2007 Chen Nong Photo Exhibition, Shanghai
2007 Pingyao Photo Festival, China
2007 Chen Nong Photo Exhibition, Shanghai
2007 Chinese Square, New York City
2007 Australian Perth Photo Festival, Perth, Australia
2007 China Contemporary Photo Exhibition, National Art Museum of Australia
2007 Chen Nong Photo Exhibition, XYZ Gallery of Beijing
2007 Guangzhou Photo Biennal, Guangzhou, China
2007 Contemporary Art Exhibition, Nanjing, China
2006 HERE Solo Exhibition, Yuantian Photo Gallery Beijing
2006 Rome Photo Biennal Italy
2006 Solo Photo Exhibition, 798 Art
2005 Pingyao Photo Festival, I Could Fly Photo Exhibition


XYZ Gallery, Beijing
Marlborough Gallery, New York
International Center for Photography (ICP), New York
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MOMA
National Art Museum of Australia
Art Museum of Harvard University, USA