October 11, 2018
BMA Presents Time Frames: Contemporary East Asian Photography
THE BMA PRESENTS TIME FRAMES: CONTEMPORARY EAST ASIAN PHOTOGRAPHY
Rarely shown photographs by Chinese, Japanese, SouthKorean, and Vietnamese artists explore the many facets of time
BALTIMORE, MD (October 11, 2018)—The Baltimore Museum of Art
(BMA) presents an exhibition of more than 40 modern and contemporary photographs by artists mostly born in China, Japan, South Korea, or Vietnam who delve into various concepts of time. Their images could be focused on a time of day, a past legend or history, or an imagined future. Time Frames: Contemporary East Asian Photography is on view at the BMA from November 4, 2018, to March 24, 2019.
“Time Frames showcases recent important gifts to the BMA’s outstanding photography collection as well as rarely shown works by East Asian artists working in this medium,” said BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director Christopher Bedford. “The extraordinary range of these works extends from hyperbolic and contemplative images to personal experiences and collective histories.”
The exhibition includes photographs, books, prints, and a hand scroll drawn primarily from the BMA’s collection. These works have never been shown in Baltimore or haven’t been displayed by the BMA for decades. Among the 32 artists represented in this exhibition are Nobuyoshi Araki (Japanese, b. 1940), Bae Bien-U (South Korean, b. 1950), Liu Bolin (Chinese, b. 1973), An-My Lê (American, b. Vietnam, 1960), Yao Lu (Chinese, b. 1967), Daido Moriyama(Japanese, b. 1938), and Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. 1948). Many of the photographers began their careers in other fields, such as photojournalism, commercial photography, architecture, sculpture, or filmmaking, but all share a similar engagement with time as a visual reference or part of their creative process.
The images in the exhibition explore a range of situations related to time, including depictions of present and past
experience, prolonged labor, urban development, and physical displacement. Highlights include:
- Moriyama’s Tokyo (2008), a tightly cropped image of a vivid red flower fixed in the obsessively close gaze of
an artist who has explained “The crushing force of time is before my eyes.”
- Naoya Hatakeyama’s River 1-9 (1993), a series of nine panels depicting a canal stretching between the walls
of Tokyo’s buildings, with deep shadows appearing as voids in the images. The artist’s vision of hidden
waterways in Tokyo’s modern landscape reflects the influence of William Henry Fox Talbot, who called the
1839 invention of photography “the art of fixing the shadow.”
- Yao’s View of Waterfall with Rocks and Pines (2007) appears to be the serene image of a mountain, but is
actually a landfill or construction site draped in green mesh to prevent the spread of toxic dust. The artist
digitally altered his photograph by adding the mist, tree, and other features of the composition from a
traditional Chinese landscape painting. He intentionally creates provocative illusions to call attention to his
country’s endangered environment.
- Rescue (1974), by the self-trained photographer Lê Van Khoa, shows an explosion near Saigon during the final
years of the Vietnam War. Lê has described the image as “the luckiest picture of my life and it almost cost my
Time Frames: Contemporary East Asian Photography is organized by BMA Associate Curator of Asian Art Frances Klapthor. This exhibition is made possible by recent gifts from the collection of Brenda Edelson and grants from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 95,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.