Wednesday, June 29, 2011


SOUND KAPITAL,  Matthew Niederhauser's book of portraits of Chinese indie rockers opens a window on a  rarely seen  aspect of  a regime westerners have come think of as monolithic. Matthew's photographs  expose . the same adolescent hunger for recognition young people from Pawpaw, West Virginia, to Beijing share.  The Post- Mao musicians captured  by Niederhauser's lens seem to rely on the same symbols dear to musicians from pawpaw, West Virginia to Nanjing. That memes are the same in China and they are in France, Brazil and the USA  reeks of cultural imperialism,   but if the young people in the photos are aware of that, perhaps their appropriation is a form of protest. Turning their backs on government-controlled media channels  takes courage in a country know for its low tolerance of dissent. A sensitive and gifted photographer as well as a  marvelous writer, Niederhauser's shows the vulnerability of his subjects along with with their  brashness  and raw energy. Ours is indeed a global village but it takes an artist of Niederhauser's caliber to remind us of the strength of our connections with the rest of the world. Don't miss this rare treat of a book and don't miss Niederhauser's  photoblog at

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