Shanghai 2002 - Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly

Shanghai 2002 - Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly

In 2002, Bettina Rheims released a series of photographs of women from Shanghai that were taken in the course of two extended stays. In January 2016, a retrospective paid tribute to the off-beat photographer at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP). In 2017, an exhibition displaying portraits of sixty Shanghainese women is held in China for the second time.


Bettina Rheims travels through Shanghai capturing the bodies or the faces of women from across the whole social spectrum: dancers, abbesses, ramblers, schoolgirls, neighbourhood guardians, actresses, etc.

Since the 1980s, (Female Trouble, Modern Lovers) Bettina Rheims’ photography has explored issues attached to representations of feminine, androgynous and transsexual beauty. Her work challenges the borders between the body and identity.

Zhou Xun in a Limousine
November 2002, Shanghai
Zhou Xun is an incredible actress: she is beautiful but also wise with a keen sense of humor and a natural simplicity that gives the impression that she could immediately be a close friend of anyone.

"Better Days" leisure centre, Japanese Bunker II
April 2002, Shanghai 
The District Committee has converted a dance hall a into a clandestine command centre dating back from World War II. Everyday, several retired people indulge in the pleasure of tango, bolero and pasodoble.

Jin Xing in the toilets of Chez Maxim's - Shanghai Grand Theatre
April 2002, Shanghai
Jin Xing has been enrolled in the army at the age of 9 because of her obvious talent for dance. She was still a man at this time. Today she holds the rank of colonel.

Hou Bo et Xu Xiaobing, official photographers of Mao Zedong. At home.
October 2002, Shanghai
Mrs Hou Bo studied photography and cinema. She became a communist and joined the army. In 1949, Mao chose her as her personal photographer ; she was only in her twenties.

© Bettina Rheims

Bettina Rheims was by turns a model, a journalist and a gallerist before devoting herself to photography. In 1978, she made her name with a first series of naked erotic dancers. Following that, she released portraits of well-known personalities and actresses for a number of magazines in France, Europe, and New York, as well as making advertising films. In 1994, she was awarded the Grand Prix for photography of the city of Paris.


31.03.2017 - 14.05.2017


Xiamen Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

301 of Building 2, Xinglinwan Business Center,

Jimei district, Xiamen, Fujian







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