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Contemporary Chinese and Australian Photography – three perspectives

Wang Ya Xin, Jonny Lewis and Peter Solness
This event has concluded
Entry Fee: Free
Exhibition Event:
Official Opening 20/05/2014 1:00 pm


One Chinese and two Australian photographers explore issue relevant to both nations in a unique group show.

Wang Ya Xin ‘Mother and daughter’

From birth, a child’s appearance is scrutinised by all those around them. Whilst growing up, children hear sentences such as: “you look like your mother” or “you look like your father”. Traditionally, people believe that looks are inherited but are they really a question of genetics? As children grow older, they are subject to different environmental and psychological factors. How do these factors affect us when pooled together?

Combining all these questions, I decided to take photos from a female’s perspective and hence chose women as my subjects. The focus is the daughter’s obvious genetic resemblance to her mother and the context is their living environment and psychological state. Communication during the early stages of shooting revealed that the subjects had a perfect mutual understanding of each other and were startling similar. Hence through the process, the subjects naturally ended up as the creators of the photos. When pressing the shutter, I asked them to try to pose similarly but at the same time with noticeable difference in order to preserve their personalities and ensure that viewers could see each woman’s individual characteristics and mannerisms. This was in the hope that the exhibition would be viewed through unbiased eyes and that the viewers could reach their own conclusions.

Wang Ya Xin graduated from Xi’An University of Technology  in 2013. She loves photography, life and quiet reflection. In 2012, her work “Silver Light” was selected for an award at the Jinan Photography Biennale. In 2013, she won the first National Youth Photography Festival Excellence Award. “Appearances are from the Heart” won the Silver medal at the 15th Pingyao International Photography Festival in 2013, the Shaanxi Province 16th Photographic Art Excellence Award 2013 and the “Birch Cup” National Award for Excellence. It was also published in “Chinese Photography”. 


Jonny Lewis – ‘Bondi’

“Lewis’ images do not over-illustrate the poplular beach concept of the sexy, pretty gfirl. His bodies embrace all folk-oriented shapes: fat ones, short ones, thick ones…his outlook is refreshingly different” Max Dupain

Jonny Lewis’ Bondi images capture humanity head on yet with empathy.  Key to his portraits is context – flanked by the sand and sea, his bronzed sitters are at one with the environment.

The trust of his sitters is obvious from the first image to the last. There is no apprehension, only humour and it is a reminder of an ideal world that is within our reach if we become again part of the natural environment.

 Jon Lewis first exhibited in 1974. He was a member of Sydney’s “Yellow House” in the early 70’s, went on to make experimental video with “Bush Video”, and in 1977 was a founder of Greenpeace Australia, which led a successful campaign to end the slaughter of whales in that country. His interests are reflected in his photography, and when not on the hop, photographing or teaching, lives in the Southern Highlands of NSW, where he schemes for sponsorship, reads, writes and hunts wild pigs.

Peter Solness – ‘The illuminated Landscape’

‘Often it seems to me night is even more richly coloured than day’ – Vincent Van Gogh 1889

In early 2009 Peter began pursuing a longtime fascination with the photographic technique of ‘light-painting’. As a result Peter has now gained a reputation as ‘a pioneer’ of light-painting and is regarded as Australia’s foremost practitioner of this unique style of photography.  Peter is the inaugral winnder of the Head On NSW landscape prize 2014.

Peter Solness has been photographing for over 35 years, beginning his professional career as a staff photographer for the Sydney Morning Herald in 1982, before setting up his current photography business in 1988.

In the past 25 years as a freelance photographer, Peter has developed a thorough understanding of the creative challenges of assignment photography. He is one of the most experienced corporate and magazine assignment photographers working in Australia today. As a result Peter has an intuitive approach to photography that cannot readily be emulated by others with less experience.

Peter has covered multiple assignments for magazines such as  The Goodweekend, The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Readers Digest, and international titles such as The London Guardian and German GEO as well as corporate shoots for Qantas, AGL, NRMA and the Commonwealth Bank to name just a few.

Peter has lived and worked in both urban and outback Australia, including a three-year stint in Darwin between 2004 and 2007 and has a strong interest in both urban and regional Australia.

This event has concluded
Entry Fee: Free
Exhibition Event:
Official Opening 20/05/2014 1:00 pm
© Rob Johnston

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