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Tami Xiang: PEASANTOGRAPHY – LUCKY 88. Cool Change Contemporary Gallery Perth 3-24 August 2019 August 6, 2019

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , trackback

The Peasantography project is a series of works that addresses social issues in China caused by the household registration system (Hukou).  In 1955 the household  registration system was introduced

to classify all people in the country as either agricultural  (rural) or non-agricultural (urban). These classifications differentiate people’s rights and privileges. The registration system manages access to

employment, education, healthcare and the right to move to another city.

In rural China, the elderly are experiencing an increased set of problems. Due to rapid urbanisation, they have lost touch with their home communities. People in rural areas lack survival skills in the modern world.

Tami Xiang Artist

As they get older it becomes increasingly difficult for them to do heavy physical work and to sustain an income. Older people have increased risk of illness and because rural social insurance is not adequate

their lives become increasingly difficult when faced with substantial medical problems.

The pension system provides little to rural pensioners.  Recently the amount received was raised to 66 RMB (AU $18). The products in the photographs by Tami Xiang were bought with the monthly pension amount.

The photographs of the elderly pensioners whose age range lies between 65 and 90 years of age  were taken as indicators of the social position that the pensioners find themselves in.

The pensioners have experienced and survived the historical movements such as The Great Leap Forward (1958-1961) during which 30 million people died of starvation, and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)

which caused violent cultural consequences and resulted in massive numbers of people dying during the chaos of change.

In Chinese tradition certain numbers are believed to be auspicious, especially the number 8. Number 88 symbolises fortune and good luck in Chinese culture.

Tami Xiang is a Perth based artist who is currently undertaking a PhD by research at the University of Western Australia. She has exhibited in mainland China, Taiwan, Australia, France and the US.

 

 

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