Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Xing Danwen, disCONNEXION, Image B3 from the series, 2002 - 03
Xing Danwen, disCONNEXION, Image B3 from the series, 2002 - 03
2006 Public Installation

Xing Danwen

May 1–28, 2006
St Patrick Subway Station
Dundas St at University Ave

Xing Danwen was born in Xi’an, China, and
currently lives and works in Beijing. Her
photographs document the massive piles of
discarded computer and electronic trash in China’s
Guangdong province, where Chinese migrant
workers recycle outmoded objects from
industrialized countries, which,
ironically, were often manufactured in China
before being shipped abroad and then returned as

The artist explains her need to portray a dark
reality of 21st century technology and
economics: "Traveling between China and the
United States has made me increasingly aware of
the conflicts between modernity and tradition,
dream and reality. I carefully choose, direct and
intimate moments to portray the objects I find. The
aesthetic quality of the imagery almost removes the
objects from their social context. But I cannot
forget that most of the e-trash I am photographing
is shipped from the United States and dumped in
the Guangdong Province where people make a
meager living recycling it. While we rely
extensively on high-tech devices for our modern
life, I was nevertheless shocked when confronted
with the piles of dead and deconstructed
machines, cords, wires, chips and parts - all of
them with traces of America on them. In my
country, I have experienced the changes that have
taken place under the influence of Western
modernity. These changes, driven in large measure
by the United States, have contributed to a
powerful push for development in China. At the
same time, they have led to an environmental and
social nightmare in remote corners of the country."

The installation of photographs by Xing Danwen
and Gu Xiong in the St. Patrick subway station,
provocatively explores contemporary global

Artist Lecture May 11 - see PROGRAMS

An concurrent exhibition of Xing's recent work is
on view at Gallery TPW, co-presented by

Scotiabank CONTACT
Photography Festival

80 Spadina Ave Suite 205
Toronto ON M5V 2J4
Gallery Hours
Tue-Fri 11am–5pm
The CONTACT Gallery
is wheelchair accessible.