Aging in China

Digital and analog photographs

The lifestyle choices available to China’s growing senior population has expanded exponentially over the past few decades and reflects the influence of social tradition and modern economic development. This series of photographs intends to celebrate those individuals whom will soon become the world’s most aged society, and to document what life looks like post-retirement in modern China.  


Digital Photographic Images


These images all began as photographs taken by a digital SLR camera, but the digital files, instead of finding their way through Photoshop before printing, were manipulated using software and filters intended for professional audio editing. Sometimes chaotic, but often beautiful,  the result of this unlikely editing process yields visual effects representative of the structure of audio wave files. Colors suddenly become the rhythms we hear in music, repetition of an image is an echo, and the viewer is allowed to see a visual representation of the way computers interact with the data of the source files.


Digital photography and video multimedia installation

Looking outward from the heart of the old-style residential communities along the edge of the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China, this photo and video installation explores landscape and lifestyles in the midst of urban renewal. Artist John Rash spent one year documenting this cluster of neighborhoods set for demolition in a series of that captures the urban environment and evokes questions of impending development, disrupted traditions, and the disparities in quality of life in modern China.

Rash uses the gallery space to display video loops and photographs in parallel, creating a surprising comment on movement, scale, and the function of still photography in relation to digital video. His use of these digital image materials directly addresses contemporary changes in the fields of photography and documentary video.


Black and white digital video (27 minutes)

Reality submits to kinetic abstraction to create a graceful and looping path along the Yangtze River. In beautiful black and white, this quiet and meditative river tour often confounds preconceptions and disputes the authenticity of the journey on which we have embarked.

Festival Credits: Full Frame Documentary Film Festival '14, Green Film Festival in Seoul '14, Shanghai International Film Festival '14, Athens International Film Festival '15, Zhengzhou Experimental Film Festival '16

INDEPENDENT AND WILLING TO SUCCEED: NvHanZi and the Modern Chinese Woman

Multi-channel video and audio installation.

This installation is a celebration of the modern Chinese woman as independent, responsible, forward thinking, and both psychologically and physically empowered to do things her own way. Through audio dialogues and video portraits, this series highlights individual stories while collectively building a vast spectrum of women who are leading the way in China's development both socially and economically.


Each participant volunteered for this series by of self-identifying as having some relationship to the label nü han zi (女汉子), or roughly translated in English as "strong woman".  The term nü han zi (女汉子) originated as a buzzword on the Chinese internet and quickly grabbed the attention and imagination of women and popular media around China. Due to the lack of a firm definition (or English translation), nü han zi (女汉子) can evoke either a sense of pride or less flattering connotations depending on the context and use of the term. Many women who self-identify as nü han zi (女汉子) do so as a rejection of the traditional stereotype of women being "as soft and tender as water", however men or mainstream media do not always see this as a positive social change. Each of the women involved in this series discusses their personal understanding and relationship with this term among many other ways women are labeled in Chinese society and the impact is has on their lives as students, artist, athletes, and entrepreneurs.  


2-Channel Video installation w/ audio.

A multi-channel video and audio observation of urban spaces designed for efficiently funneling pedestrian movement in a forward trajectory without concern for ultimate destination. Originally designed as a site-specific outdoor installation at the 1933 Lao Fang Chang building in Shanghai, a former slaughterhouse, this piece has since been updated for gallery exhibition or projection on the outer facade of existing structures. Built from video and audio loops captured in train stations, metro system, and international airports around the world, the nondescript and repeating design elements of these locations are often obstructed as the focus turns to the hindquarters of what or whom lies directly ahead. 


B&W Digital Video (8 mins, ©2014) 

For young people in China the night club offers an attractive means of making a living as well as a playground for the privileged to celebrate their wealth. Filming over the course of a single night in a typical club of this sort, the space is explored absent of sound and color to reveal an intimate portrait. When the club is reduced to pure visual observation the mundane routines and redundancies eclipse the spectacle of the nightlife.


Digital video, (6 minutes 30 secs)

Starting from the shadows of a bicycle passing along the landscape ultimately arriving at the downtown nightlife,  movement and light are the main characters of this short impressionistic view of a small city in the southern United States.