Mo Yi Selected Photographs 1988-2003

Mo Yi, Holly Roussell, Philip Tinari, Christoph Wiesner, Bridget Noetzel

The first retrospective of one of China's most important photographic artists, published to coincide with Mo Yi's major international exhibition at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art and Les Rencontres d'Arles Photography Festival.

Mo Yi is a photographic artist with a career spanning nearly forty years, from the 1980s to today. This retrospective contextualizes his work within the evolution of contemporary art following reform and opening in China in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Working in a documentary tradition, but building on and reinterpreting the meaning of "documentary," Mo Yi's practice is exemplified by experimentation. Regularly creating work in distinct series, he has continually tested ways of extending the boundaries of the medium and his own personal expression.

This publication, supported by his first exhibition outside of China, surveys Mo Yi's experimentation in photographic production and performance over the course of his career. Organized into five chronological chapters that mark the milestones of Mo Yi's journey as an artist, each introduced by Holly Roussell, the book presents the key projects and series, created through an era of great change in China. A restless innovator of photographic practice and form, Mo Yi has combined photography of daily life with the exploratory and performative processes for which his work has become renowned, shifting from the dynamic black-and-white images of his earlier practice to the vivid red that becomes a recurring motif in his later color work.

With text contributions from Christoph Wiesner, director of Les Rencontres d'Arles, and Philip Tinari, director of UCCA, this book will introduce one of China's most important, yet virtually unknown, artists to international audiences for the first time.


Mo Yi


Holly Roussell

Edited By

Holly Roussell is a curator and art historian specializing in photography and contemporary art from Asia. Currently a curator at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, her previous books include Civilization: The Way We Live Now, coauthored with William A. Ewing.

Philip Tinari

Preface By

Philip Tinari is director and CEO of the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing.

Christoph Wiesner

Text By

Christoph Wiesner is director of Les Rencontres d'Arles.

Bridget Noetzel

Text By