China: Grain to Pixel

Chen Man Miss Wan Studies Hard 2011Australia’s only gallery dedicated to the collection and exhibition of photography, Monash Gallery of Art (MGA) has announced China: Grain to Pixel – an exciting international exhibition presenting a survey of Chinese photography over the past 150 years for the first time to Australian audiences.

On display from Sunday 5 June, this highly anticipated exhibition will unveil an unique insight into China’s recent history as told through the stunning evolution of a culture made visual via the lens.

MGA Director Kallie Blauhorn believes the works offer an intriguing insight into the somewhat obscure history of Chinese photography, from an era of black-and-white documentary images through to imaginary contemporary visions.

China: Grain to Pixel will be the first from-then-to-now survey of Chinese photography presented in Australia,” said Blauhorn. “The exhibition showcases a beautiful range of images, which illuminate the breadth of visual culture in China.”

China: Grain to Pixel features 150 works by 70 Chinese photographers including: Chen Man, Cai Shanxiong, Han Lei, Jiang Zhi, Li Lang, Luo Dan, Liu Heung Shing, Yang Yongliang and Zhang Yaxin.

“China: Grain to Pixel allows audiences to contemplate a more obscure history of old communist China and to see how Chinese photography got to where it is today,” says MGA Senior Curator, Stephen Zagala. “Over the last decade, photographic techniques were absorbed and repurposed within the unique context of China.”

“This exhibition documents the evolution of these photographic practices as well as showcasing the country’s political, social and cultural development. While there is seemingly endless access to beautiful images of the modern and fashionable China we know today, the photographers of the past were navigating their way through a range of different cultural values and agendas.”

“This exhibition captures a domestic sense of wonder with the ‘Chinese outback’, a sense of curiosity with the place of the individual in the collective, and a sense of hope for the future that China now occupies. China: Grain to Pixel engages with an array of contrasting photographic visions, which not only provide insights on the history of Chinese culture, but allow us to see the important role photography can play to a country’s past, present and future.”

China: Grain to Pixel
Monash Gallery of Art (MGA), 860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill
Exhibition: 5 June – 28 August 2016
Free admission

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Chen Man, Miss Wan Studies Hard, 2011 archival ink-jet print 50.0 x 74.0 cm – reproduction courtesy of the artist