Following interview with Li Jie and Zhang Jungang (李洁 and 张君钢) by Yuhui Liao-Fan.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: What does “photography” mean to you?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: Photography is part of our lives.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: Can you write a biographical introduction?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: Li Jie, born in Shanghai in 1975; Zhang Jungang, born in Harbin in 1980.We live together in Harbin now.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: Can you describe your work? How would you define your photographs?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: We don’t regard photography as work, but rather as a lifestyle. We will bring our cameras wherever we go. We use photography to record the moments when human hearts dance with the world around – be it memories, exclamations, or compliments.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: Can you say a few words about your technique?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: Mostly we use 135mm film camera to take photographs, I don’t mind reproducing photos; I will use some basic simple techniques on computer or in the darkroom (e.g. curves adjustment, resize, colour adjustment). I am not familiar with very complicated techniques.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: Does the technical aspects that you mentioned are important or what really matters is only the final result?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: Yes it is important. Any forms or messages are important.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: Do you think that the Chinese contemporary photography is different from the Western one? If yes what are those differences and how do you explain them? Do you think we can speak of a “Chinese school” or photography today is globalized?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: Photography is a worldwide phenomenon.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: How Chinese photography has evolved over the years? How would you describe the recent history of photography in China?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: We rarely think about this type of questions; they don’t mean much for us.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: Do you have a wish or a photographic dream, concerning yourself as well as the contemporary Chinese photography?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: We hope that there will be institutions and organizations that engage particularly in photograph album publication; there will be more exhibitions that focus on traditional photography rather than contemporary art themes; there will be more people like you who concern about the history and environment of China’s photography to consolidate the works of photographers nowadays, and help them promote their works more effectively.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: Do you think is fundamental to live in a big and important city, or -for example thanks to Internet- the city in which you live is no longer a contraint?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: We have more freedom on internet; freedom is the most important instead of cities.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: Do you think it’s important to have a website or a blog? Is it is essential to have it translated into various languages? How the Internet contributes to the spread contemporary photography?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: Compared to blog, personal website is more important to photographers. But I like the media as a blog, especially in China where the mass publication environment is rather bad, internet media such as blog is particularly useful for you to speak what you want to speak about and do what you want to do – this is critically important.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: What are your sources of reference for contemporary photography in China?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: Fake magazine. If you want to know about the status-quo of photography in China, especially the folk photographers and pioneer photographers, this website is very informative.
Yuhui Liao-Fan: Can you tell some names of Chinese photographers that you particularly like and why?
Li Jie & Zhang Jungang: I very much like the current exhibition ‘the middle school students of the 80s’ by Ren Shulin. It presents the desire and admiration of the young bodies, which is something I really would like to photograph.
Please visit Li Jie and Zhang Jungang for more photographs and informations.