Yesterday's China

March 17th - April 4th, 2008

Leonard Kahan

Leonard Kahan holds a BFA from Pratt Institute and MFA from Brooklyn College. Leonard Kahan has taught art at Brooklyn and Queens College in New York. He has exhibited extensively and traveled throughout both, Africa and Asia.

About the Exhibit

This exhibition presents The People’s Republic of China after Chairman Mao Tse-Tung death on September 26, 1976. This photographic essay was taken as part of a trip with the Trade Union delegation, headed by Judith Kahan, in 1976 and an Artists and Crafters delegation in 1977. In 2006, Kahan revisited China and documented his visit with drawings.

This exhibition consists of 70 photographs of taken in 1976-77 and ink wash drawings from 2006. Using visual juxtapositions and unperturbed social precision throughout his work, Leonard Kahan, captures in print what he believes to be an authentic and communitarian urban world where modernization has not yet arrived. The untiring and enthusiastic work of this artist’s sojourn in urban environments and peripheral landscapes seems to enlighten his search into the internal content hidden under appearances.

Kahan uses his ability to conjoin the humanity from his subjects and, at the same time, capture a world circumscribed within the boundaries of external forces--a world that is not necessarily restricted to its own inhabitants. And just as the great Tao guides us to enlightenment, Kahan’s work "flows everywhere both to the left and to the right, then ten thousand things depend upon it; it holds nothing back. It fulfills its purpose silently and makes no claim."