New York Photo Review
from the NYPR Archives

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

Two Challenges
Muge
Going Home
Muge

Muge is a Chinese photographer who has had to overcome two challenges: the first being a photographer in China and coping with its strict government policies on individual artistic expression. The other was dealing with the realities of the artist’s life, made even harder by living in country with few opportunities for photographers and lots of competition for those that do exist. As Muge says, “To be a great artist, you must not be afraid to be hungry.”

Apparently, he bit the bullet because in spite of these handicaps, Muge has persevered and produced “Going Home,” a black and white photo essay on the Three Gorges Region of China where he was born. There are eighteen 19 x 19 inch black and white images in the exhibition. He explains that “home" has many meanings for him, one being demolition, collapse and noise, (no doubt referring to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam that destroyed the fishing villages and tourism industry that was a mainstay of this region,) the other being childhood memories of a happier, more peaceful time.

 by unidentified photographer.
Muge

Whether in dusty, desolate landscapes or those with people, Muge projects a sense of isolation and loneliness. One photo shows two figures in front of an open pit; another portrays a solitary noodle vendor waiting in his roadside stand for customers, long strands of noodles hung overhead; a third, a dreamy image of a woman standing alone in a fog-shrouded forest. All the images are untitled, and, like the one of what appears to be a goat up to its neck in mud, wide open to interpretation. Does that mean we are stuck and can’t move on? Although it required a second look, the image of the whirling carnival ride with riders’ legs blurred seemed hopeful in an obscure way.

One question I asked was: How did a Chinese photographer end up having his first show in North America at a small gallery on the Lower East Side? The answer apparently had to do with Internet “buzz.” The gallery had heard about him, did an online search and saw his work, and Muge is here. Overall, the exhibition is inconsistent, though in “Going Home” Muge does communicate the sense of loss felt.

Muge
Going Home


Anastasia Photo
166 Orchard St.
Lower Manhattan - East         Map

212 677 9725
anastasia-photo.com

Friday, March 4 to
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11 to 7
Share

The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery