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A Coney Island of the Chinese Mind

A Coney Island of the Chinese Mind

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Published by daddypanama
Liu Zheng, China, Mao, social realism, Goethals, art history, communism, capitalism, art, photography, transsexuals, Beijing, New York, Yossi Milo, Howard Stein, Mad Men, Diane Arbus, rich men, Cultural Revolution, pop art, documentary, social welfare,
Liu Zheng, China, Mao, social realism, Goethals, art history, communism, capitalism, art, photography, transsexuals, Beijing, New York, Yossi Milo, Howard Stein, Mad Men, Diane Arbus, rich men, Cultural Revolution, pop art, documentary, social welfare,

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Published by: daddypanama on Feb 08, 2012
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06/29/2013

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A Coney Island of the Chinese Mind
text by Robert Goethals, photography by Liu Zheng
Three Transsexual Males, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, Yossi Milo Gallery 
 
In 1976, after 10 years of Liu Zhang Chunqiao’s Red Guard Goon Squadpulverizing the skulls of peasants, workers, and soldiers, (not to mention allthe elitist, intellectual motherfuckers abandoned six feet under somewherein the vast expanse of the Empire of Grief), nobody creative in China wasfeeling particularly aglow or agog with the spirit of Mao Zedong’s GreatProletarian Cultural Revolution anymore. Across the Deep Blue, in the GreatLand of Opportunity, the Museum-Gallery Complex was too busy movingtheir mega-money Post-Painterly Abstract and Pop knock-offs from 10
th
 Street Uptown to stand still for John Szarkowski’s commie-sounding ideasabout Social Realism, much less be alert to the Chinese documentaryphotography movement, Scar Art, springing up from the CulturalRevolution’s treasons like a supernatural vendetta.
Young Man Dead of Traffic Accident, Harbin, Helongjiang Province 
JGS Collection 
 
 
 
The blazing Chinese renegades who emerged in the 1980s grooved to thedark side. Documentary photographers were widening their event horizonsto include the loonies, transsexuals, and assorted street rabble previouslyexcluded from Social Realism’s classical scope of vision and, among them,Liu Zheng reigned supreme. “I can never have good relationships withpeople around me,” Liu Zheng once remarked. “I don’t know if this isbecause I don’t understand them or because they don’t understand me. It just seems so absurd!”
Waxwork, Emperor and Girl in Fornication, Changping, Beijing, Yossi Milo Gallery 

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