Labor Pains

During the early part of this decade, capturing the impoverished of the Far East was all the rage. U.S. photojournalists snapped heartbreaking images of Chinese slave laborers while Naomi Klein’s written manifestos, No Logo and the subsequent Fences and Windows, detailed corporate globalization with a focus on Asia. Basically, it was in vogue for folks from North America to document migrant laborers and their most-often-inadequate living and working conditions.

The “Documenting China: Contemporary Photography and Social Change” exhibit throws out a couple of different aesthetic curveballs. For one, the artists aren’t angry Americans or pissed-off Canadians. They’re seven Chinese nationals who offer an insider’s point of view through 57 beautiful images. Secondly, the shutterbugs focus on rural workers who were forced, for various reasons, to abandon their farm lives in order to make money in the urban centers. The result? A more calm and unbiased view of the Far East working class.

Saturdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 12-10 p.m.; March 3-6, 6-midnight; Fri., March 7, 6 a.m.-5 p.m.; March 10-12, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; Mondays-Thursdays, 6-midnight; Fridays, 6 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 12-10 p.m. Starts: March 1. Continues through April 27, 2008
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Steve Jansen
Contact: Steve Jansen