“The Silent Strength of Liu Xia,” the touring exhibition of 26 photos by the dissident Chinese photographer, artist, and poet, made its U.S. debut at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, based at Columbia University in New York City. The exhibition opened on Thursday, February 9 with a reception which included commentary by author and curator Guy Sorman and by Columbia professor Andrew J. Nathan. It will remain on view at that venue through May 11, 2012.
The Italian Academy’s co-ponsors for this showing include Columbia University, The Alliance Program, The Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and the Ville de Boulogne-Billancourt, France. They also received support from individual donors: Jim Glanzer, Burton Haimes, Mr. and Mrs. Lippman, and anonymous donors.
The Italian Academy published a catalogue of the exhibition, designed by Daniel Cohen. It includes all 26 images in the exhibition, plus another 14 from the same series, along with essays by Guy Sorman, Andrew Nathan, and Cui Weiping, professor at the Beijing Film Academy. Click on the links below to access these materials.
Materials available from this exhibition:
- Press release from the Italian Academy at Columbia University (PDF).
- The poster for the exhibition. (PDF)
- The catalogue for the exhibition. (PDF)
- Catalogue essays by Guy Sorman, Cui Weiping, and Andrew J. Nathan.
- Slideshow of the event. (Forthcoming.)
Columbia University prepared the video below to familiarize viewers with Liu Xia and her work. It includes short interviews with Guy Sorman, the show’s instigator, and Columbia University professor and China expert Andrew Nathan.
Press response to the New York showing (the exhibition’s U.S. premiere) has proved both extensive and overwhelmingly favorable. Here are links to some of those reports and reviews, arranged chronologically:
- On Campus/Columbia News: “On Exhibit: The Silent Strength of Artist Liu Xia,” by the Columbia News Staff, January 24, 2012.
- The New Republic: “Silent Protest: The disquieting, remarkable photography of a Chinese dissident,” by Perry Link, January 25, 2012. Click here for PDF version. With a slideshow of all 26 images in the exhibition.
- The Record (Columbia University): “Only U.S. Exhibit of Liu Xia’s ‘Ugly Babies,’” by Wilson Valentin, February 2, 2012. Click here for PDF version.
- Associated Press: “Censored Chinese artist’s photos coming to NYC,” by Ula Ilnytzky, February 8, 2012. Click here for PDF version. (As published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Published also in many other periodicals, including New York Newsday, The Huffington Post, NBC New York, and others.)
- WNYC’s Arts Datebook: “This Week: Must-See Arts in the City,” by Carolina A. Miranda, February 8, 2012.
- The New York Review of Books: “He Told the Truth About China’s Tyranny,” by Simon Leys, February 9, 2012. Review of No Enemies, No Hatred: Selected Essays and Poems, by Liu Xiaobo, Liu Xia’s imprisoned husband, recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Illustrated with one of Liu Xia’s photos, showing Liu Xiaobo with one of the “ugly babies” on his shoulder. Click here for PDF version.
- Fotomania (Brazil): “Liu Xia e suas fotografias revolucionárias!” February 9, 2012.
- ARTINFO: “EDITOR’S PICK: Secret Exhibition by Wife of Chinese Dissident,” February 10, 2012. Click here for PDF version.
- Espectador.com (Uruguay): “Contemple las maravillosas fotos de la artista china Liu Xia,” February 10, 2012.
- El Universal (Mexico): “Liu Xia, esposa de Nobel chino, expone en Nueva York,” by RQM, February 10, 2012. In Spanish. Click here for PDF version. Republished in Vanguardia.
- AFP: “Detained China artist unaware of New York success,” by Tim Witcher, February 10, 2012.
- Untapped New York: “Underground Chinese Artist Liu Xia on Exhibit at the Italian Academy,” by Laura Itzkowitz, February 13, 2012.
- Taiwan News: “Photo exhibition by Liu Xiaobo’s wife ‘shocks’ spectators,” by Huang Chi-kuan and Lilian Wu, February 13, 2012.
- Focus Taiwan: “Photo exhibition by Liu Xiaobo’s wife ‘shocks’ spectators,” by Huang Chi-kuan and Lilian Wu, February 13, 2012.
- Molihua.org: Short video meditation on Liu Xia’s images, posted on YouTube, February 13, 2012.
- Columbia Daily Spectator: “Chinese activist has first American exhibit at CU,” by Julien Hawthorne, February 14, 2012.
- The Daily PEN American: “The Silent Strength of Liu Xia,” by Sarah Hoffmnan, February 14, 2012.
- Radio Free Asia: “Artist in Her Own Right,” reported by Zi Jing for RFA’s Mandarin service. Written in English by Rachel Vandenbrink. February 15, 2012. Click here for PDF version.
- Euronews: “A força das fotografias de Liu Xia,” February 15, 2012. In Spanish. With a short video, also in Spanish.
- Wall Street Journal: ”Who Will Tell the Truth About China?” by Bret Stephens, February 14, 2012. Click here for PDF version.
- Wall Street Journal: “The Photographs of Liu Xia,” 8-image slideshow of Liu Xia’s work.
- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: “‘Ugly Babies’ Exhibit Depicts Life Under Oppression In China,” by Courtney Brooks, February 22, 2012. With a slideshow of 14 of Liu Xia’s images.
- French Morning: “Une ‘ombre chinoise’ dans la lumière,” by Anne-Laure Perrin-Klein, February 25, 2012.
- Wall Street Journal: “Witness to Innocence in Peril,” by William Meyers, February 25, 2012. Click here for PDF version.
- The Brooklyn Rail: “The Silent Strength of Liu Xia,” by Charles Schultz, March 2012. Click here for PDF version.
- Dolls: “China Doll: The forbidden doll photography of Liu Xia strikes a blow for freedom and democracy,” by Stephanie Finnegan, March 6, 2012.