Bruno Lessard: CHENGZHONGCUN 城中村
Opening Reception: May 23, 7pm
Exhibition Dates: May 22 – June 16, 2019
1313 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON
Toronto-based artist Bruno Lessard’s Chengzhongcun offers a glimpse into China’s urban villages, also known as “villages in the city” (chengzhongcun 城中村), after dark, and reveals quotidian moments against a backdrop of accelerated urban transformations. Taking the notion of documenting the public sphere as a point of departure, Lessard’s images inquire into Chinese urban environments as sites of inhabitation and concurrent cultural and political values.
The structuring of Chengzhongcun is informed by temporary makeshift spaces built by migrant workers, the juxtaposition of the old and the new denoting urban China’s ongoing transformations, and the visual archiving of older parts of town. The exhibition connects both the urban renewal process of Chinese mega-cities, such as Shenzhen, Shanghai, Chongqing, Beijing, and Guangzhou, and the urban settlement of migrant workers from rural areas who have played a crucial role in China’s recent economic growth.
About the artist:
Bruno Lessard’s work combines methods associated with critical topography, urban photography, and night photography. His projects purposefully combine various genres such as urban landscape, still life, abstraction, and documentary to address the complex nature of any given place. Lessard is a photographic artist, scholar, and Associate Professor in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University, where he serves as the Director of the Documentary Media MFA program.
Curated by Henry Heng Lu
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