Rooms Within China is a kaleidoscopic presentation of twenty noteworthy contemporary photographers from China. From the viewpoints of a wide range of photographers conveying stories in their own distinctive photographic languages, this comprehensive curatorial work takes readers on a visual journey through different rooms within China, conveying the contributors’ individual life experience, observations, and reflections. These perspectives challenge conventional representations of China and its citizens in the global landscape as a gateway to a different narrative in which the many perceptions of China are not forced into inorganic homogeneity but left de-centralized, personal, and individual.
All contributions are encapsulated inside rooms as the frame of setting — be it public constructions or private homes — echoing everything from daily chores, work, leisure, pleasure, and interior decor to intimacy, open-mindedness, escapism, current trends, countercultures, and generation gaps. Rooms, in this sense, are a metaphor for human expression, a relatable setting constituted by the basic architectural structure of a floor, a ceiling, and walls, displaying the innermost life of individuals, groups and humanity as a whole. Just as a picture is worth more than a thousand words, a room inhabits more stories than are visible to the naked eye. Rooms Within China thus becomes a sequence of fragmentary memories, actions and events reframing past rooms in retrospect in preparation for renewed considerations and experiences leaving space to embrace diversity and welcome creative exchanges.
Just as a picture is worth more than a thousand words, a room inhabits more stories than are visible to the naked eye. How can we begin to develop an understanding of cultural diversity? And how might we approach it? Perhaps the best way is simply to take a look into new rooms and the lives that inhabit them. We hope the featured photographs will provide room for thought, dialogue, and exchange across borders. See something presented from within, and not outside of, the world.
Chen Ronghui (b. 1989), Coca Dai (b. 1976), Feng Li (b. 1971), Gao Shan (b. 1988), Jialin Yan (b. 1992), Li Lin (b. 1974), Li Zhengde (b. 1976), Lin Zhipeng (b. 1979), Luo Yang (b. 1984), Pixy Liao (b. 1979), Shi Yangkun (b. 1991), Wang Lu (b. 1989), Wenjun Chen & Yanmei Jiang (b. 1985), Wenxin Zhang (b. 1989), Wu Liewei (b. 1993) , Xiaoxiao Xu (b. 1984), Yan Cong (b. 1991), Yuyang Liu (b. 1991), Zhou Pinglang (b. 1988), Zhu Lanqing (b.1991)
Tofu Collective (founded in 2019) is a Copenhagen based creative studio dedicated to art and culture from East Asia. As an association of volunteers, we strive to strengthen the cultural ties between East and West through creative collaborations across the globe. With publications, events and exhibitions as our main fields of work, we see a great importance of welcoming creative exchanges, embracing cultural diversity, as well as preserving cultures. Art and creative articulations are our gateways to contemporary East Asia.