Photography Now

China, Japan, Korea
September 12–December 20, 2009

Drawn entirely from SFMOMA’s collection, Photography Now showcases pictures by nearly 30 contemporary artists working in China, Japan, and Korea. Documentary work from China depicts a shifting culture, in particular rapid urbanization and the effects of industrialization on society. Inspired by Robert Frank, Luo Dan journeyed from Shanghai to Tibet, making pictures that explore dramatic economic changes across China. In Japan, Rinko Kawauchi makes lyrical pictures that focus on the poetic details of daily life, and Yasumasa Morimura examines the nature of cultural identity through appropriation. Korean photographer Bohnchang Koo’s minimal photographs of ordinary architectural elements reflect upon the passage of time.

This exhibition is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and is generously supported by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Color photograph of an Asian man smoking, Huan
A color photograph of a makeshift stage, Luo Dan
A black and white photograph of an Asian woman wearing sunglasses and a body suit, Liu Zheng
A color photograph of a stage backdrop, Seung Woo Back
A black and white photograph of a figure from behind with wings, Li Lang

Zhang Huan, Foam (1), 1998; collection SFMOMA, gift of Vicki and Kent Logan; © Zhang Huan

Luo Dan, Anhui Huaining, from the series China Route 318, 2006; collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Luo Dan

Liu Zheng, Folk Entertainer, Lingqui County, Shanxi Province, from the series The Chinese, 1995; collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Liu Zheng

Seung Woo Back, Real World 1 No. 3, 2004; collection the artist, courtesy Sarah Lee Artworks and Projects; © Seung Woo Back

Li Lang, Riha, Zhaojue, Sichuan, China, from the series The Yi People, 2002; collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Li Lang