STATION III: Tijuana, Mexico

(June 25 – August 23, 2004)

Marking many important milestones, Zooming into Focus: Chinese Contemporary Photography and Video from the Haudenschild Collection (2003 – 2005) was the first contemporary Chinese photography exhibition at the Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico.

Zooming into Focus was the first contemporary Chinese photography exhibition that took place in the Centro Cultural Tijuana. The quick growth that has characterized our city is also one of the characteristics of the society in which these fourteen Chinese artists have lived.”  -Teresa Vicencia Alvarez, General Director of CECUT

Zooming into Focus: Contemporary Chinese Photograph and Video from the Haudenschild Collection

June 25 – August 23, 2004, Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT)
Organized by Carmen Cuenca (Director, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo).


November 1, 2003
This event was moderated by Norma Iglesias and included presentations by Yang Zhenzhong and Tijuana artists Itzel Martinez (Yonkart), Giancarlo Ruiz, and Salvador Vazquez Ricalde.

About Carmen Cuenca
Since 2011, Carmen Cuenca has been the Director of the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City. A native of Mexico City, Cuenca graduated in 1980 from the Universidad Iberoamericana with a degree in Art History. Prior to moving to Tijuana in 1989, she served as Associate Curator at the San Carlos Museum in Mexico City. For the past 20 years, Cuenca has been actively promoting contemporary artists and artistic practices in the binational region. She recently resigned as subdirector of visual arts at the Centro Cultural Tijuana, where for five years she directed the curatorial and programmatic development of El Cubo, the first international-scale museum in Baja California. From 1994 through 2005, Cuenca played a central role in the inSite project, a binational venture focused on commissioning new public projects by artists in the San Diego/Tijuana region. She served as coordinator of Mexican projects for inSite94 and as Executive Director, Mexico, for both inSite2000 and inSite05. During her work with inSite, Carmen Cuenca was responsible for completing over 200 commissioned projects, from site-specific installations to performances to the production of film and video works. Prior to joining inSite full time in 1997, Cuenca served as cultural attaché for the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, and before that as chief curator at the Centro Cultural Tijuana.

About Norma Iglesias
Norma Iglesias is Associate Professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University. She is also curatorial adviser at El Centro Cultural Tijuana. For 21 years she was researcher of the Department of Cultural Studies at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (El COLEF-Tijuana). Her works is characterized by the mix of the academic field and the artistic one. In the academic arena, Norma Iglesias is a member of the National System of Researcher (SNI) in Mexico, (the maximum academic recognition from the Mexican Government). She has a bachelor in Social Anthropology (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City), a master in Communication (Universidad Iberoamericana, mexico City), and a Ph.D. in Communication Theory (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) She has a wide experience working on the U.S- Mexico Border, specially on the culture, identity and media (especially cinema) from a gender perspective. She is the author of several articles in academic journals and books, such as: La Flor más bella de la maquiladora (1985), Medios de comunicación en la Frontera Norte (1990), Entre yerba, polvo y plomo. Lo fronterizo visto por el cine mexicano y (1991) Miradas de Mujer. Cineastas y videoastas mexicanas y chicanas (1998). In the artistic arena she was formed during 8 years in the Center of Creative Activities and Educational Research with José and Azul Gordillo; she studied cinema production, television and photograph in several schools and institutes among them: San Diego State University, and Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television. She was founder and coordinator (1996-1999) of the Centro Infantil de Actividades Creadoras in Tijuana. She was founder and director of the Department of Communication at El COLEF from 1984 to 1989. It has been scriptwriter of several television series about the U.S.-Mexico Border. She produced and directed various television and radio programs, such as: “… Y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos” and “Comentando al sazón: Cocinero al recetario y en el caldo el comentario”. She has been adviser of a great number of cultural productions, member of selection committees in festivals like the San Diego Latino Film Festival, as well as curator of some film and video series like inSITE 2000 (in collaboration with Rita González) and “Fronteras” in MEXartes.berlin (in collaboration with Salvador V. Ricalde).

About Yang Zhenzhong
Born in Xiaoshan in 1968, Yang Zhenzhong now lives and works in Shanghai. He graduated from the oil painting department of the China Fine Arts Academy in Hangzhou in 1993 and began working with video and photography in 1995. Yang Zhengshong’s work has showed at major biennales and triennials including Venice (2003), Shanghai (2002), Guangzhou (2002) and Gwangju (2002). Yang Zhenzhong became famous in 2000 with his ten channel video “(I Know) I Will Die” that features short sequences in which a series of people speak the phrase “I will die” to the camera. It is a disconcerting, soberly presented film that confronts the viewer with existential questions. Yang Zhenzhong recognizes that individual participation is the starting point for the transformation of perception. The video “922 Grains of Rice” plays with the interaction of the image of a cock and a chicken pecking grains of rice and the sound of a male and a female voice counting the number of pecked grains. It is a humorous representation of the battle of sexes as well a comment on today’s competitive behavior. The desire to challenge normative notions of social behavior informs the practices of Yang Zhenzhong’s work. He is pre-occupied with China’s intrinsic disharmony and extreme discrepancies and often touches upon taboos such as death and out-dated social norms. His approach is metaphorical rather than narrative. His videos often start from witty ideas, employing image repetition and rhythmic coordination of sound, language and image. “Let’s Puff” (4th Shanghai Biennale, Zone of Urgency, 50th Venice Biennial) similarly starts from the interplay of two images: a young woman puffing and a busy street. Every time the woman breathes, the image of the street moves away from the viewer. The rhythm of the traffic and the angle of perception are altered with the rhythm of the woman’s breath. Yang Zhenzhong’s playful videos are more than visual reflections; they are intelligent comments on the design of contemporary society. In a series of photos entitled “Light and Easy,” he perceives the weight of urban changes as an exterior phenomenon, and literally depicts the process as a weightless factor, turning urban landmarks upside down. “Light and Easy” is based upon a conviction that the lightness of the isolated exterior or interior is a source of interesting material. The successful experiments the artists have executed to formulate connections are exciting, sincere and disturbing. (ShanghART; Shanghai, China)