Work by Lisa Ross.
Lisa Ross is a New York based artist. Her work in this exhibition shows images of holy sites of its indigenous Muslim Uyghur population in the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang, western China.
The exhibition is beautiful. Any pictures of the show, even those on the gallery website, and my small attempt by way of illustration of the elegant basement of the Argentea Gallery above, fail to portray the glorious reality of the prints. They exude a quality of light which is mesmerising.
As a photographer I stood in front of the images admiring the sheer technical expertise of the photographer and of the printer. If that is all you go to see this show for then so be it. You will not be disapointed.
However, these are not chocolate box or even travel images. There is another aspect to the images. They document part of a way of life of the Muslim population of this part of China which is under threat, indeed these shrines no longer exist and access to the area is strictly controlled.
For me the shambolic, though elegant, nature of the construction of these Sufi spiritual sites counterpoints the sharp regimental precision evident in China’s military parades. It’s two faces of China. Politics aside, it’s sad to see old ways wiped out by the march of the new. It’s work like this which captures the old ways so eloquently which provide the balance I believe a country needs.
Every country needs faded glory.
Go to see this exhibition before it too, is no more.
The show is currently running Until 2 November 2019
28 St Paul’s Square
Tuesday – Saturday: 12:00noon – 6:00pm
But check web site here for opening times as there are occasional changes…