Wang Tong

Peter Wüthrich

Wang Tong (b. 1967 in Jilin, China, lives and works in Beijing) has been active in the field of photography since the early 1990s when he started to create some of the most challenging and visually-compelling bodies of work ever produced in China. He explores photography with the accuracy of a philologist, while continuously expanding the scope of a genre which, for him, is a meta-language for investigating the complex liaison between the microcosm and the macrocosm, the real and the ideal, the historical and the daily. As an author of documentary images rooted in the keen observation of past history and contemporary reality as well as the tension between strong narrative elements, Wang Tong has devoted his career to portraying the abrupt changes that his mother country has undergone. He documents the construction and incessant renegotiation of China’s identity in both the individual and collective senses. His photographic work is the prism through which we can view the various layers of Chinese history that are inevitably intertwined with the artist’s personal experience. In Wang’s oeuvre, these elements overlap with thrilling results, and each photograph reflects a specific moment in his mental and geographical topography. For its detailed and accurate approach to both the conceptual and the technical aspects related to photography, Wang Tong’s work has been extensively exhibited throughout China, as well as in Japan and Europe. It is also present in major Asian art collections. Wang Tong’s work has been presented in solo and groups shows organized at: Galleria Carla Sozzani, 10 Corso Como, Milan (2005); Beijing Tokyo Art Projects, Beijing and Tokyo (2006); Fotografie Noorderlicht, Groningen (2008); Alessandria Video and Photography Biennale, Alessandria (2011); Ofoto Gallery, Shanghai (2012); Stavanger Museum, Stavanger, Norway (2014); Format International Photography Festival, Derby, UK (2015), among others.