Call for Entries - All About Photo Awards 2020

Once Upon a Time in Shanghai by Mark Parascandola

Once Upon a Time in Shanghai by Mark Parascandola
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai by Mark Parascandola
Mark Parascandola, a documentary fine-art photographer based in Washington, D.C., is interested in how photography and the movies shape our perceptions of history and truth, reality and make-believe. In his critically acclaimed photo book, Once Upon a Time in Almerķa: The Legacy of Hollywood in Spain (Daylight, 2017), Parascandola documented a bygone era of Hollywood glamour amid the geopolitics of the Cold War. Once Upon a Time in Shanghai in contrast, looks towards the future. Here, Parascandola turns his lens on the film industry in present day mainland China which already produces more films than Hollywood and is poised to take over as the world's largest movie viewing market.

This beautifully designed volume presents seventy color photographs taken by Parascandola over a five-year period at over a dozen film production sites across China. Together they reveal an expansive state-supported movie and television industry on an unparalleled scale. The movie sets, rivaling real world cities and monuments in their scale, have themselves become destinations for domestic and international tourists.

Among the sites featured in the book is China's Hengdian World Studios, reportedly the largest film base in the world made up of several distinct film villages, including a full-size replica of the Forbidden City. Other locales include the 1930s-era streetscape of the Shanghai Film Park, the rustic Western Film City on the edge of the desert in Ningxia Province, and the bizarre theme parks of Changchun Movie Wonderland and Huayi Brothers Movie World.

Mark Parascandola

Shanghai circa 1937 Film Set, Huayi Brothers Movie World, Suzhou © Mark Parascandola

Mark Parascandola

Tour Group, Palace of Ming and Qing Dynasties, Hengdian World Studios. © Mark Parascandola

Given film censorship codes in China, historical period films provide a safe and familiar format to tell stories based around "official" narratives. In the introduction Parascandola writes: "There is a formula at work here. The large-scale outdoor sets reflect specific episodes in China's history-ancient battles of the Warring States Period, costume dramas of the Qing dynasty, conflicts of the nineteenth century Opium Wars, gangsters in 1930s Shanghai, or resistance under the Japanese occupation. Because so many movies and TV dramas share the same backdrops, filmmakers are able to reuse these locations, instantly recognizable to Chinese audiences, over and over."

Mark Parascandola

Lunch Break, Shanghai Film Park © Mark Parascandola

Mark Parascandola

Between Takes, China Film Group State Productions Base, Beijing © Mark Parascandola

In his essay in the book, Michael Berry, Director of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies, describes the evolution of the Chinese film industry into the global force that it is today. He writes: "Through his images, Mark Parascandola captures these sites and people that inhabit them, offering us fleeting images of classical Chinese costume dramas, modern war films, Republican Shanghai, and the socialist past. It is through these images that contradictions lurking beneath the surface emerge as we witness a side of China that is both classical and modern, genuine and staged, glamorous and mundane, new and old, deeply tied to history yet continually being remolded."

Mark Parascandola

Shanghai Circa 1937 Film Set, Huayi Brothers Movie World, Suzhou © Mark Parascandola

Mark Parascandola is a documentary fine-art photographer based in Washington DC. A PhD epidemiologist by training, he draws on methods of historical and public health research in investigating subjects and locations. His work has been exhibited widely in the US, Spain and China. Parascandola was awarded Individual Artist Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 2014 and 2018 and was a Finalist for the Sondheim Prize in 2011 and for Critical Mass in 2012, 2016, and 2019. His photobook Once Upon a Time in Almerķa: The Legacy of Hollywood in Spain was published by Daylight Books in 2017. The work from that project was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Embassy of Spain in Washington DC and has since traveled to numerous locations. His latest photobook Once Upon a Time in Shanghai (Daylight, 2019) documents the rapidly-expanding movie industry in China. The book was awarded First Place in the Documentary Book Project category in the 2019 International Photography Awards and related work was selected for the "Best of Show" exhibition at the Lucie Awards in New York City in October 2019.

Mark Parascandola

Military Rally Scene, Xiangshan Film and TV City, Ningbo © Mark Parascandola

Michael Berry is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies and Director of the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA. He is the author of four books on Chinese cinema, including Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers (2006) and A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film (2008). He has served as a film consultant and a juror for numerous film festivals, including the Golden Horse (Taiwan) and the Fresh Wave (Hong Kong).

About the Publisher: Daylight is a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books. By exploring the documentary mode along with the more conceptual concerns of fine art, Daylight's uniquely collectible publications work to revitalize the relationship between art, photography, and the world-at-large. For more information, visit www.daylightbooks.org.

  All about the book
Photo LA
Sponsored Link
 

More Photography News

Contest
Gomma Grant 2019 Shortlisted Photographers
Gomma Grant 2019 Shortlisted Photographers
The Gomma Photography Grant is a grant contest tailored to fund and support photographers, both emerging and established, working among various...
  Read More
Interview
Exclusive interview with Svetlin Yosifov
Exclusive interview with Svetlin Yosifov
Svetlin Yosifov is a freelance photographer based in Bulgaria. He won the 1st place for the AAP Magazine #9 Shadows with his work 'Mursi People'. We...
  Read More
Event
Finding Your Vision Workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb
Finding Your Vision Workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb
Do you know where you're going next with your photography-or where it's taking you? This intensive weekend workshop will help photographers begin to...
  Read More
Publication
This Is How the Heart Beats by Jake Naughton and Jacob Kushner
This Is How the Heart Beats by Jake Naughton and Jacob Kushner
Same-sex relations are illegal in thirty-two African countries. Most, including Kenya and Uganda, were former British colonies, and the legacy of the...
  Read More
Event
Life Interrupted: A photography exhibition focused on lives altered by circumstance
Life Interrupted: A photography exhibition focused on lives altered by circumstance
The Plaxall Gallery & Long Island City Artists (LIC-A) invite you to join us for the Opening Reception of Life Interrupted curated by Orestes...
  Read More
Publication
PRESENT by Stephan Vanfleteren
PRESENT by Stephan Vanfleteren
Stephan Vanfleteren is mainly known to the general public for his penetrating black & white portrait photography, but over the past decades his work...
  Read More
Best-Of
Best Rising Photographers of January 2020
Best Rising Photographers of January 2020
Here is a selection of a few portfolios for the month of January 2020 from rising photographers we think you should take a look at. We hope you enjoy...
  Read More
Best-Of
Best Modern Photographers of January 2020
Best Modern Photographers of January 2020
New Year, new portfolios! We continue to discover incredible work from photographers that live and travel all around the world. Here is a selection of...
  Read More
Best-Of
Best Photography Grants
Best Photography Grants
Applying for artist grants is a great way for photographers to complement their income to ease the financial burden that often comes as part of being...
  Read More
Event
Announcing photo l.a. 2020 Exhibitors
Announcing photo l.a. 2020 Exhibitors
The 28th edition of photo l.a. would like to proudly welcome you to visit our exhibitors at the historic Barker Hangar, Santa Monica from January 30th...
  Read More
Event
Erik Hijweege : New Habitat
Erik Hijweege : New Habitat
Across the globe, more and more species are in peril. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, over 19,000 species are facing extinction....
  Read More
Equipment
15 Digital Point-and-Shoot Cameras Used By Pro Photographers
15 Digital Point-and-Shoot Cameras Used By Pro Photographers
To get professional photos is it necessary to have a digital SLR camera with lenses worth thousands of dollars? Sooner or later you will have asked...
  Read More
Photo LA
Sponsored Link
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
Photo Contest - All About Photo Awards 2020
 
Discover the Latest Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
David Bailey: SUMO
Sponsored Link
 
Explore All About Photo