New Shanghai Living
In photos of Hu Yang.
Hu Yang’s extensive photographic publication “Shanghai Living” documents the living spaces of 500 families living in today’s Shanghai. A selection of 100 of the images were first displayed at ShanghART Gallery and caused unforeseen public attention due to their rare and particular presentation of intimate and protected private spaces.
The “Shanghai Living” series works almost as an archive: all subjects and interiors, whether wealthy or impoverished, are equally treated. One might naturally question the objectivity, authenticity and honesty of the documentary photos. As with any other visual art form, the intentions and stylistic strategies are, ultimately, always a subjective choice made by the photographer. Nevertheless, these intimate portraits do not come across as staged settings, and unlike exterior views of the city, they are spaces that are otherwise closed to the public. Finally, it is up to the spectator to manage and interpret these contemporary iconographies of modern Shanghai living spaces.