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Icons of New China: Documentary Photography of the Great Hall of the People

On view through Tue, December 31, 2019
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From / To Nothing

Sat, June 15, 2019 | 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm
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Collision: Hong Kong Art in New Haven

Fri, June 21, 2019 | 5:30-7:00 pm
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On view through Tue, December 31, 2019
Icons of New China: Documentary Photography of the Great Hall of the People
Yale-China Association
Bierwirth Room
442 Temple Street
New Haven, CT

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

The nine historic photographs of the iconic Great Hall of the People in this exhibit are chosen from an extensive archive of over 10,000 photographs collected by the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd. (BIAD). These photographs, on display for the first time outside of China, provide a visual documentation of the construction process of the Great Hall of the People from 1958 to 1959.

Serving as the primary meeting location for the legislative bodies of China, the Great Hall of the People today is more than a political symbol, rather visited as a major civic and cultural attraction. It serves as a model for architectural monumentality, aesthetics, technology, and a collective intelligence of that era.

In leading the design of the Great Hall of the People, the BIAD took these initial photographs for the explicit purposes of recording the construction process and the completed work, facilitating discussions among the architects and engineers before, during, and after construction, and demonstrating achievements, especially in professional media. Beyond these purposes as a visual narrative created by close collaboration between the architects and the photographers in BIAD, these images of 1950s Beijing provide a glimpse into the radical shifts and juxtapositions produced within a compressed period of change. more>

 


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