Bao Kun's Views on Chinese Photography

Bao Kun, a famous critic of contemporary photography, known as his sharp style of criticism.Now let us listen to his views on the current photographic problems.Journalist: Right now , many people tries to imitate the works of the masters,so how do you think of it?

Bao: At first, I would like to correct the call of masters. I have been fed up with the moments when people call me as a master. There are no so-called masters existing in photography. Of course, the works of so-called masters will be more popular than others. Many people who just set foot in the field always abandon their beliefs but to pursue those so-called style of masters, which is no good to them. For example , Bresson, he was called master,many people tried to imitate his photographic style. As a matter of fact, compared with the photographers of the same period, his works were not that outstanding. But people only believe the call of master more than their own eyes.

Journalist: What is your opinion on how the photographers should match the development of times with the renewal of the photography devices?

Bao: In my opinion , we don’t need to use the word “ match”. If you want to talk,want to match the society, never be banned by the photography devices, you should try to employ different kinds of ways. For example, I am working on bringing in musics ,videos,behaviors together to strengthen the effect of broadcasting in consideration of the fact that we only hang the photos on walls.

I think photography could be the eyes of humans, it is a tool to help them ponder over social realities.

Journalist: Students almost get no criticism lessons on art criticism in universities, so in your opinion ,how to develop the education of art criticism in China?

Bao:This is an awful phenomenon. The classes in the photography universities are worrying. The majority of the teaching contents are about aperture ,exposure,speed and PS , the students read little.I think the students should learn more politics ,history or economics,only by mastering all the knowledge will the students’ works be remarkable.

Journalist: How the foreign photographers look at the internal photographers?

Bao: Actually, few people talk about this problem directly. When I took part in an exhibition in South Korea, some of the photographers in Korea thought we had a huge team of photographers and they often talked about the activity of Chinese photography, but they seldom gave the specific assessments, because of the fact that they knew little about Chinese photography.

Journalist: The world's highest value of the photographic works is "the Rhine 2", the auction price is as high as 4000000 dollars.Compared to the foreign photographic works, domestic collection market hasn’t been developed, what do you think?

Bao: Chinese admired material wealth since they used to be poor, and they were seldom willing to buy psychological products. Even though some wealthy people bought works of art, they prefer to purchase traditional collections rather than photos. Because they all have a question,”can I collect the photos owing to the fact that they are not unique?” Collecting the works of painting can be safe,but photos are born to be copied, so it is hard to sell them at a high price. The market of photographic works are not developed, even it is still in its infancy. With the reality that we are becoming more and more wealthy, we will pay more attention to the cultural products, I am still optimistic toward the future of the photography market.

Journalist: Thanks for sharing your remarkable views.

Bao: You’re welcome.