Chin-Chin Wu (born in Shanghai, lives and works in Beijing) belongs to the generation of Mainland Chinese whose family had emigrated from Beijing to the West following the 89 student uprisings, and received her formative education in China, Australia, the US, and France. Originally trained in music and piano performance at Rice University on full scholarship (both of Wu’s paternal grandparents were renowned Chinese composers), she went on to pursue her studies in Paris, first at University of Paris VIII in photography and multimedia, then graduated from a Master’s degree in photography at École Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière.
From the very beginning, she experimented with images of the female body, as well as self-portraits. In 2006, Chin-Chin Wu began photographing a systematic series of intimate portraits in Paris that would later be entitled Vis-à-vis: Portraits of New Women. Originally small-scaled and experimental in nature, by 2008, Wu had evolved the project into its present form of large-format, spectacularly subtle images of female empowerment. Shooting in Paris and Beijing, Wu engaged 50 women from 18 countries as subjects. The women voluntarily posed for their portraits and spoke for the record about their intentions. Dialoguing intimately with the history of photography and its representation of the female genitalia, Vis-à-vis intentionally flirts with ideas of fragility and power, eroticism and raw objectivity, medical precision and sexual primacy, generating an emotional tension that is both uneasy and arresting.
In 2010, a selection of this work was shown in a landmark duo exhibition with previously unshown works of Noboyoshi Araki in Tokyo. Due to Japanese censorship laws, the exhibition catalogues were seized by Japanese customs agents and subsequently destroyed. In 2011, these images and interviews were compiled into an eponymous book, published by Edition Galerie Vevais in Germany (ISBN 978-3-936165-74-6).
In 2008, she was invited as a resident artist to the Czech Republic and produced on site at the Brno National Arms Factory a series of diptych portraits called Soldiers During the Time of Peace. For the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in 2009, she was invited back for the project Laughter and Forgetting (LAF) and worked on a series on youth in Prague.
In recent years, she has returned to live in her childhood hometown Beijing. Adept at three languages and cultures, Wu is particularly sensitive to the dynamic possibilities of emerging cultures to generate new artistic configurations and discourses. Her work, which includes photography, video, sound, and installations, have been shown in venues and festivals such as the Shanghai Biennale, Month of Photography LA, Nordic Light Photography Festival (Norway), Shanghai Contemporary, Art Shanghai, Photo LA, Photo Miami, and has been featured in group and solo shows in China, Japan, the US, and Europe.
Curriculum Vitae (please request for detailed CV)
Chin-Chin Wu | 吴沁沁 （China/USA/France)
Born in Shanghai, currently lives and works in Beijing
2003-2006 Ecole Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière, Masters of Fine Arts in Photography (with distinction), Paris, France
2002-2003 Université Paris VIII, preparatory certificate, Photography and Multimedia, Paris, France
1995-1999 Rice University, Bachelors of Music, Piano Performance, Houston, USA
Pending Vis-à-vis, Portraits of New Women (solo exhibition), Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
2013 Heterogenous Body (group exhibition, curated by Li Xinmo), 523 Art District, Hai’an, Jiangsu Province
2012 On the Way Home (group exhibition, curated by Qiu Zhijie, Xiao Ge), Pudong Airport Museum, Shanghai Biennale
2012 LA Month of Photography (MOPLA Selection, group show), Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
2011 Vis-à-vis, Portraits of New Women (solo exhibition), Nordic Light International Festival of Photography, Kristiansund, Norway
2010 U + 三味 (3-women show), Afterglow Gallery (22 Art Zone, 22院街艺术区密阳空间), Beijing
2010 Love and Punishment (group show), Aura Gallery (798 Art District, 798艺术区亦安画廊), Beijing
2010 A. Face 2 Face with Chin-Chin Wu (duo exhibition with Nobuyoshi Araki), Zen Foto Gallery (co-organized with Taka Ishii Gallery), Tokyo
2010 Another Nude Show (group exhibition), Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles
2010 Another Landscape (group exhibition & book), Inter Art Center Gallery (798 Art District, 798艺术区映艺术中心), Beijing；Epsite Gallery (Moganshan Road, 莫干山路爱普生影艺坊), Shanghai
2010 L.A.F. Project (group exhibition), French Institute, Prague
2009 Greening the Beige: Re-Energize Beijing (group exhibition), Hutong Ephemera, Cable 8 Creative Center, Beijing
2009 Soldiers During the Time of Peace, SHContemporary, Original Song Gallery, Shanghai
2009 Art Shanghai, Soldiers During the Time of Peace, Original Song Gallery
2009 30th Anniversary Exhibition, Part 1 (group exhibition), Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles
2009 Photo LA, Vis-à-vis: Portraits of New Women, Robert Berman Gallery, Los Angeles
2008 Photo Miami, Vis-à-vis: Portraits of New Women, Robert Berman Gallery
2008 Art Shanghai, A tress of Hair, Corporal Landscapes, Original Song Gallery
2007 Projection Nuit Blanche, Rencontres d’Arles International Photography Festival, Arles, France
2005 Salon Mieux-être du corps (solo exhibition), Espace Solara, Paris
2011 Vis-à-vis: Portraits of New Women
Edition Galerie Vevais, printed in Germany
2012 Participating artist, IMMERSION New Media Workshops, Oct 3-16, Academy of Reciprocal Enlightenment |圆明学园, Shanghai Biennial
2009 Invited resident artist, Laughter and Forgetting: 20 Years of Democracy, the L.A.F. Project, Prague, the Czech Republic
2009 guest workshop artist-teacher, Photoschule-Filmschule, Vienna, Austria
2008 Selected, European young artists’ award Mission Jeunes Artistes, Musée des Abbatoir, Toulouse, France
2008 Invited resident artist, Projekt Derniera, Brno National Arms Factory, Brno, Czech Republic; book and exhibitions
2007 Shortlisted, Prix Roland Barthes for Best Thesis in Photography