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Real Life China by Photo

In my 20 years of journalism, I have been all around the world as a writer and reporter essaying the lives and cultures of people from all walks of life in over 50 countries. Initially for me, it was words that illuminated the images of all that I had seen and experienced. Through my words I could make my readers feel as though they were there with me. The photos seemed secondary.

That all changed when I met the late acclaimed photographer Jacques Lowe, and that fortuitous meeting would change my life forever. Lowe taught me the two greatest lessons in being a competent photographer--to understand light and to know a moment when it was happening and how to capture it on film. In our friendship, I watched Jacques in action, and learned. But it wasn’t conscious. You see, I was a journalist.  Never did it occur to me that the visual world would be even more compelling than writing about it. When I took pictures it was simply to add graphic support to my articles.  Never once did I think of my images as a work of art.  But that would change.

It wasn’t until close to the end of Jacques’ life that an epiphany occured for me. In 1999, I had spent one month in China and the photos I brought back were proof that this trip contained some of the most visceral experiences I’d ever had.  One day after the trip I decided to visit Jacques at his loft in SoHo and to show him the photos I had taken. My goal was for each image to capture the human condition.  Life in motion, and emotion, too, I discovered based upon the unexpected response I got from Jacques.

Jacques was so amazed and impressed that he insisted I have a show. Sadly, at the time, I did not know that Jacques was in the early stages of prostate cancer.  It would eventually spread to his bones and kill him.  In May of 2001, Jacques passed on.  But the gift he left me lives on. I look at the visual world in a completely spiritual way. To me, each photograph that captures a precious moment in each of our lives is a gift.  It is a real-life documentation that enables us to cherish the past . . . and to look forward to the future.

The China That’s Passed Us By is journalist Jesse Nash's exhibition of faces, landscapes and real-life photography in China running from September 14th to 26th, 2009 at The National Arts Club.

The National Arts Club
15 Gramercy Park South
New York, NY 10003

Opening Reception
Tuesday, September 22nd

for more information contact Rachel L. Feldman at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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