Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Art History

Reader 1

Julia Lum

Reader 2

Daniel Hackbarth

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A few decades after the emergence of performance art in the New York art world, a group of Chinese artists formed the Beijing East Village collective during the early 1990s. Residing and working in the East Village during this time was photographer Rong Rong. His works from the East Village period are wide-ranging but can be categorized into the broad themes of ruins photography, nude self-portraiture and performance photography. Working through these three modes, Rong Rong emerged at the forefront of a new avant-garde by expanding upon the accepted parameters of photography in China up to that point. As a central figure within the early development of contemporary Chinese photography, Rong Rong visualized the generational entanglement between infrastructural urbanization and individual disillusionment through photographs that also preserved the outsider spirit of the East Village community.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.