Bei Dao snaps away from poetry

By Zhang Zihan Source:Global Times Published: 2012-10-9 19:55:04

A visitor admires Bei Dao's photograph Hue. Photo: Zhang Zihan/GT
A visitor admires Bei Dao's photograph Hue. Photo: Zhang Zihan/GT 

Poets are typically renowned for their mastery of words, yet few dabble in other art forms away from prose. Bei Dao, whose real name is Zhao Zhenkai, is one of the most influential Chinese poets of the modern era who has made such a leap away from verses, rhyme and meter by embracing photography. 

Now, his talent from behind the lens is celebrated with the exhibition "Nil Mirror" unveiled on October 3 at the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Museum's Beijing branch.

The exhibition features 14 photos by Bei Dao over the past decade. His prints tackle different subjects that range from natural sceneries and still life to moving objects.

Bei Dao's photography, like his poetry, possesses a unique sense of beauty. Some of his prints are accentuated by bold colors, while others encompass random objects.

Yet all these works shares one trait in common: though they might appear blurred, they stand out as real, gripping snapshots of beauty through abstractism.

Bei Dao himself admits, his mentor for photography is fellow poet and late American Allen Ginsberg, whose influences can be readily identified by visitors familiar with Beat Generation pioneer.

"He suggested to never use the flash in photography because it threatens to compress the whole space into a flat surface that lacks any real atmosphere," said Bei Dao.

When: Until November 2

Where: Hong Kong Contemporary Art Museum (Beijing), 798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang district

Admission: Free

Contact: 5978-9217


Posted in: ARTS, Metro Beijing

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