Dan Edwards: I noticed in a lot of the footage in the film [Ou Ning’s Meishi St (2006)], Zhang [Jinli] is filming the police, but the police have cameras too.
Ou Ning: Yeah, it’s very interesting. You can say that digital technology has had a great impact on Chinese political society. You can see at the end of the film during the demolition process, there are so many cameras on the scene. That means that there are some cameras from the police station, some from our team, some from NGO organisations. The digital technology has brought some opportunity to the people to document history by themselves. This is a great change in China. Before that, history only had one version, by the Chinese Communist Party, but now with digital technology history has different versions. History has a Zhang Jinli version, a Security Bureau version… there’s a lot of different versions, not just one version. That is a great progress in the political situation in China.
Based on his experience of the submissions for the annual Three Shadows Photography Award, Rong Rong makes the following observations in an interview with Dan Edwards for RealTime Arts:
One thing I noticed is that everyone wanted to express their private selves. Unlike older photographic trends that were focussed on society or big topics, younger artists are focussed on their inner world.
This is certainly a strong trend in art-making here in China, something which I’ve been aware of ever since I arrived here, but it’s interesting to hear this from someone who has such a perspective on the recent history of Chinese photography.
Rong Rong (2009). Interviewed by Edwards, Dan. the nurturing of chinese photography. RealTime, issue #92 (Aug-Sept). [Online]. Available from http://www.realtimearts.net/article/issue92/9557 [Accessed 6 June 2010]. Reproduced with permission.