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Fowler Museum at UCLA opens a new exhibit on the photography of Stephen Verona that captured China in 1980 and then recaptured it in 2014.

May 15, 2016 12:00pm to September 11, 2016 5:00pm

May 15—September 11, 2016

In 1980 Stephen Verona made his initial trip to China to direct a co-produced American-Chinese film, the first in over forty years. The film crew traveled with Chinese escorts, including an army general, from Shanghai to Suzhou and on to Beijing. Fascinated with all he saw, Verona compulsively photographed people bicycling, architecture, groups practicing Tai Chi, alleyways, and street vendors. He was devastated when financing for the film fell through and his exploration of China was cut short.

Upon returning to Los Angeles, Verona began to make paintings based on his photographs. He ultimately gave up film work to focus on painting and photography. In late October of 2014, he decided to return to China to retrace his steps and document the many changes that had taken place in the 34-year interim. In MAO to NOW, Verona contrasts his two vastly different sets of photographs of China, pointing out both the positive and negative effects of change that have taken place as the country’s economy has moved from the stagnation of the Maoist era to one of the fastest-growing in the world.




October 15, 2020 - 4:00pm

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for a book talk with author David Lampton. His new book examines China’s effort to create an intercountry railway system connecting China and its seven Southeast Asian neighbors.