Friday Inspiration – Li Zhensheng

Li Zhensheng was born on September 22, 1940 to a poor family in Dalian in the northeastern province of Liaoning—a part of China then under Japanese military occupation. He has captured some of the most telling images from the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the late sixties. His employment at the Heilongjiang Daily, a turned-propaganda newspaper during the revolution, and his decision to wear a red arm band indicating an alliance with Chairman Mao Zedong, allowed him rare access to scenes which have since been only described in written and verbal accounts. The Heilongjiang Daily newspaper had a strict policy in accordance with a government dictate that only “positive” images could be published, which consisted mostly of smiling revolutionaries offering praise for Chairman Mao. The “negative” images, which depicted the atrocities of the time, were hidden beneath a floorboard in his house where they sat for over 40 years before he would bring them to public light at a photo exhibit in 1988.

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Li Zhensheng’s website is red-colornewssoldier.com.

Tune in Tokyo

So I’m in Tokyo right now and won’t be posting everyday. I’ve scheduled a few posts here and there, but mainly I’ll be back in full force by April.

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Friday Inspiration – William Klein

William Klein was born of Jewish immigrant parents in New York in 1928. He adored the Museum of Modern Art, which was like a second home to him from age 12 on. At the age of 14, three years ahead of his classmates, he enrolled at City College of New York to study sociology. When he was 18, he spent two years in the US army, before completing his course. As an artist using photography, he set out to re-invent the photographic document. Klein shocked the established order of the photography world with photos that were often blurred or out of focus, prints that were high contrast, and with his use of high-grain film and wide angles. He earned a reputation as an anti-photographer’s photographer.

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WoodenKimonos.com