[B]eijing-based artist Chen Wei enters the ambiguous space between fact and fiction with a new photo series exploring the experience of nightclubbing in China. These carefully staged scenes will be displayed in his new exhibition The Club, at the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne, Australia.
A heavily sweating disco dancer, a glowing, mystical entrance, a sea of faceless bodies bathing in strobe lights, the images turn familiar clubbing motifs and render them as high-art. Also considering the shifting identity of the club scene in China, Chen explains, that in the height of Communist rule in China, clubs were meeting places for intellectuals and outsiders but that their function is “no longer as radical spaces” as economic policies have relaxed in recent times.
“For me these enchanted bodies immersed in the smoke and laser beams reflect the current mood in society today – be it cultural, economic or political. No one knows where we are, and in which direction we will be heading tomorrow,” the artist explains.
See a selection of images from the show today and follow the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne here.