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Educated Youth (President's Gallery Exhibition)
Start Date: 9/16/2015Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Date: 10/30/2015End Time: 5:00 PM

Event Description:

Educated Youth (President's Gallery Exhibition)

September 16 -October 30, 2015

Opening Reception on Wednesday,
September 16, 2015, from 5:30-7:00 PM

Tang Desheng who was born in 1947 in Changzhou, Jiangsu, was a professional photographer, who worked in that capacity in the army from 1965-1969. At the onset of the Cultural Revolution, he left his home to travel with the youths from the city because he was curious about the kind of the life they would find in the rural areas, how they would adjust to it and perhaps he wanted to be part of the youth movement. Also a young professional photographer, he followed his instincts to record history. During his vacations and weekends Tang lived in various rural communities, following the students all over China. For a period of ten years he traveled to Sichuan, Shanghai and Nanjing, Hainan, Shandong, Yunan, Heilongjiang, among other places. As he was entrenched with the youthful community, he recorded the events in their lives from the momentous to the routine, and his photos recreate for us a visual history of those days. Tang's work illustrates the government efforts in science and technology, education, entertainment and indoctrination. The vast majority of the photos are black and white taken with a Rollei Reflex twin lens camera his older sister, also a photographer, gave him.

Part of the value of his work is that he uniquely captured a movement that lasted a decade and covered a wide geography. Also Tang sought communion with the students: he was not content to be an observer, but became a member of their community, sharing their living circumstances no matter how meager. Tang shot them working, eating, resting, enjoining in private moments of intimate heartbreak and in the frenzy of public denunciation meetings. Looking at the photos one can relive those moments in all their complexity. In contrast to the staged images contracted by state agencies, some of these are spontaneous pictures that not only record their activities but also their emotions. Tang’s work met with resistance, sometimes he was beaten up for taking the photographs and he was suspect for members of his family lived overseas in Hong Kong and Macao. Part of the complexity of this project is that it depicts a positive aspect of the students’ lives, despite their extreme hardships in the countryside.

Curated by: Patricia Karetzky

For more information please contact:
The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery
Gallery Hours: 9- 5 PM, M – F
Location Information:
Haaren Hall  (View Map)
899 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10019

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