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Exhibition: The Great Wall–Photographs Then and Now

This exhibition using the juxtaposition of 140 old and new photographs of the Great Wall shows an authentic portrayal of one of the great wonders of the world. Using images taken by archaeologists, geographers, travellers and enthusiasts over the last 140 years - both Chinese and from the West - it shows the wall and watch towers then and now allowing the viewer to grasp the enormity of this feat of human architecture.

Between 2001 and 2011 volunteers led by Zhang Baotian began to research and collect old photographs of the Great Wall while taking modern images from the old locations. This labour of love, trekking the whole length of the wall on foot and literally feeling the greatness of this magnificent ancient structure, resulted in the material for this unique exhibition.

The Great Wall became of interest for photographers in the 1880’s with the use of the newly invented camera. The new technology attracted a succession of pioneering photographers including George Ernest Morrison from Britain, William Edgar Geil from the USA and Sha Fei from China recording for its history, charm and physical presence for later generations.

With a theme of remembrance of the Great Wall and displayed in three parts;  Tracing Back, Keeping the invaders off and Everlasting Project the exhibition juxtaposed the ‘then and now’ location photographs with a time difference of 100 years reminding us of the vivid history of one of the most impressive and historic human structures.

There is no doubt of the importance of the Great Wall to the soul of the Chinese nation and in bringing the exhibition the London Olympics PPMG not only highlights this magnificent structure but reminds us that we now need to be concerned for its preservation for future generations.

This concern has been taken up by Li Xue, Vice President of PPMG, who has curated this exhibition. It has therefore been the pleasure of the Phoenix Publishing and Media Group to support the establishment and research of the Great Wall Centre in China to spread the knowledge of this magnificent human achievement.

In the UK, PPMG is also proud to acknowledge the support of The Hadrian’s Wall Trust in staging this exhibition and looks forward to collaborating with the Trust to further world interest in both structures and celebrate both their awards of World Heritage Sites.

Central Hall Westminster, London, SW1H 9NH. Until Friday 4th August 2012   Free Entrance            

Sponsored by Phoenix Publishing & Media Group, CHINA

On 17th Aug the exhibition moves to Charing Cross Library, London, WC2H 0HF until 17th Sept

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