Chinese Contemporary Photography has experienced significant progresses in the recent twenty years, with a clear display of its own characteristics, and of the spectrum and depth with which present Chinese artists utilize the photographic medium for artistic expressions. Chinese Contemporary photography is an important chapter in the history of Chinese contemporary art, while its emergence and processions deserve further studies and discussions.
The exhibition brings about the idea of "conceptual renewal" in order to tell the story of the currently active generation of artists. They have encountered and thought through a great number of queries. This includes worries for their own growth as people, thoughts on the Chinese society, and troubles with art. This is a most unusual and indescribable juncture in China today. Meanwhile, the Chinese way of thinking conveys a strong sense of history precisely because of the incredible length as well as hardships of China's history. Thus, Chinese artists are particularly fond of conceptual expressions. They endlessly and tirelessly continue to seek various individual and intimate means to express the way with which him/herself thinks, whereas photography as a medium corresponds quite well to what they seek. This generation of artists, therefore, are devoted to creating and experimenting with their own conceptual photography, while conceptual photography from varied periods discloses artistic mentalities of particular timeframes. In this way, "Conceptual Renewal—A Brief History of Chinese Contemporary Photography" attempts to unveil this juncture of Chinese photographic history, so as to contribute to researches and academic analyses of contemporary art.