hi nyc-ers, dave’s having a talk next week at half king. hope you can make it. best, jasmine
Opening Talk – Tuesday, July 12th at 8p.m.
David Butow, One in a Billion: Coming of Age in the New China
July12 – Sept 4, 2005
Photography series curated by Michelle Jackson
From the grungy floor of a one-room apartment in a bohemian artists’ colony, I listened as a rail-thin twenty-something guitarist played Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain riffs. Turning his amp down, he asked in practiced English, “How about American kids? Which Chinese bands do they listen to?” This exchange took place not in Seattle or Los Angeles, but in the Beijing suburbs. Thirty years ago you’d have a hard time finding a Mozart record there let alone something from the Monterrey Pop Festival. The fledgling musician’s question stuck with me because it seemed to symbolize a search for relevance and identity particular to a generation of young Chinese. These mostly only-children have the opportunity, (or burden, if you look at it that way) of self-discovery as they grow into a country that, in a way, does not yet exist. China is perhaps the world’s greatest “Work in Progress.”
Since the violent end to China’s student-led democracy movement in 1989, young people’s energies have been channeled away from politics and into material and
cultural pursuits. With permission and even encouragement from Beijing, this only-child generation is absorbing modern influences and searching for self-identity at the same time the country goes through this dramatic economic transformation.
While the drama of China’s recent emergence as a major world player has been well documented with statistics, photographs of surreal modern cityscapes, and
portraits of eager businessmen, I have tried to show more subtle indications of change. By exploring the lives of this transitional generation I have found not only dynamics and desires particular to modern Chinese, but many that are common to young people everywhere.
David Butow is a photojournalist based in Los Angeles. As a contract photographer with U.S. News and World Report and a member of the Redux photo agency, his assignments have taken him to Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. In addition, his personal work on the Uighur ethnic group in China has been the subject of solo shows in New York and Los Angeles. His primary interests are social issues and the effects of public policy at local and international levels. His work on Iraq and Kurdistan from a pre-war trip in 2000 was shown at the International Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan, France.
Butow also works extensively in the United States covering issues of politics, education, race and poverty among others. As a photographer working in the journalistic field, he hopes his craft contributes to an understanding of various peoples, their living conditions, cultural evolutions and the connections that exist between societies around the world. He tries to approach his coverage with as few pre-conceptions as possible, letting the personal experience of seeing and photographing a situation guide his viewpoint.
He was born in New York City in 1964 and grew up in Dallas, Texas. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Government he moved to Los Angeles where he worked for newspapers for a few years before starting his current work as a freelance magazine photographer.
[a former member]
2005-07-06 17:52:11 UTC
Mar 12 2008
New York City
12 Jul 2005 00:07