Exhibition “CHINA MIGRANT” by Daniel Traub open until Mar 2020

German Website incl. German flyer download

English Translation of the German flyer:

The exhibition documents the social, economic and cultural changes and upheavals that have become visible through labor migration since the beginning of the opening and reform policy in the People’s Republic of China. The focus is on the documentary work of the Chinese-American photographer and filmmaker Daniel Traub, who captured with his camera the living conditions of working migrants in China over a period of two decades. The exhibition brings together works from individual photo series and documentary film projects by the artist in order to offer a multifaceted overview on internal and external migration in China.

Portraits, city and landscape photografies of people from the China Migrant series (2005–2007) shed light on various aspects of internal migration among migrant workers within China, including the situation in the coastal cities of eastern China and in the peripheral and transitional zones between rural and urban areas , In combination with the artist’s own short films, the collaborative photographic project Little North Road (2009-2014) documents African labor migration in the emerging economic capital of Guangzhou: it shows portraits of African migrant workers (including professional and private travelers) taken by Chinese tourism photographers as migrant workers and some kind of passagework between internal and external migration. The short film Phoenix: Xu Bing (2013) approaches the topic from an artistic-critical perspective, setting a symbolic memorial to the economic exploitation of migrant construction workers.

The aim of the exhibition is to convey a comprehensive picture of migration processes in Chinese society on the basis of the photo and film documentary work of the artist Daniel Traub.

Exhibition concept:
Birgit Mersmann (Art History, University of Duisburg-Essen) and Michaela Pelican (Ethnology, University of Cologne) in collaboration with Daniel Traub

The Institute for East Asian Studies accompanies the exhibition with scientific events on migration in East Asia.

The exhibition is sponsored by

  • AREA Ruhr
  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr
  • InZentIM Interdisciplinary Center for Integration and Migration Research