For over a decade from 2009 to 2019, Marcus Reubenstein travelled to more than 30 cities across China. Through his lens, Marcus captured Chinese people he saw along the way, from mahjong players in an alleyway in Guangzhou; to Shaolin monks practicing Kung Fu in Henan province. Kent and I first saw some of this body of work – China Moments in Time – at its 2019 launch. This exhibition has been the biggest-ever display of photographs portraying contemporary Chinese life in Australia to date.
This year, Marcus reselected 20 images to tell his China story. Some of them are from the previous show, he added 11 never-been-seen photographs from his collection of over 22,000 images from China. There’s an addition of new digital art prints too, and a dedicated photographic book for this new exhibition. On the opening night, journalist Michael West and Marcus both gave short speeches. The atmosphere of the Art Space on The Concourse in Chatswood is welcoming and relaxed. Some guests turned up with their young families. Many local Chinese had come to show their support in return for Marcus’ passion for China and its people.
A year ago, Kent and I hosted a small lunch gathering at Cafe Sydney. Marcus and Richard Simpkin were our guests. I remember asking Marcus back then what he would like to do after COVID-19 was passed. His answer was to revisit China and create more photography shows. Since the permit to visit China due to COVID-19 is still restricted, I guess Marcus has at least part of what he wished for, with the new exhibition.
The launch of China Moments in Time received coverage by SBS News, describing it as: ‘New Hope – for a warmer relationship between Australia and China!’ Here let me quote Marcus from his TV interview as a wrap of my post…
‘I really want people to look at these pictures and have compassion and empathy for ordinary Chinese people. Put politics aside, but trade aside, put all those peripherals aside… just see them as people we should understand and connect with.’
Congratulations to you Marcus! We enjoyed the show and thank you for the invite.
China Moments in Time exhibition dates: 19-30 October 2022
Art Space on The Concourse: 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood