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Midnight Tweedle

Zhang Lijie

Curator:Gwen Lee

Photographer:Zhang Lijie



Midnight Tweedle is Zhang Lijie’s personal portrait of China’s complex cultural and political history. Juxtaposing diverse and seemingly unrelated images with a collage technique, Lijie explores the depths of Chinese collective memory in a process she describes as “whispering to herself ... to understand where we come from and where we are going.”

This book combines materials as varied as found and original photos, posters,illustrations and even a meal ticket from the planned economy time which Lijie either collected from antique markets, newspapers and the Internet, or created herself. Here smiling families and uniformed civilians during the Cultural Revolution mingle with key historical figures such as the Empress Dowager Cixi and Mao Zedong, all interspersed by recent landscapes and photos as unexpected as a still life of mangoes. Lijie believes that “all kinds of identities and labels are nothing but fragments of history”, and in this book she creates a new whole from these pieces.

Obsessed with dealing with themes concerning Chinese society, its history and collective memory, and what it means to be young in contemporary China, I chose the photobook to express my thoughts on my chaotic surroundings and what they hint of the future. 


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