China Film / Latest News / Press
27 January 2016

Press Release: Artist Talk – Mark Parascandola: China Film

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Artist Talk: Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 6 PM – 8 PM

BRINK DC – 1516 U St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20009

WASHINGTON, DC – Massey is incredibly pleased to announce new photographic work by artist Mark Parascandola. Following along his previous series, Once Upon a Time in Almeria, China Film documents film sets and locations around Beijing, Shanghai, and Hengdian, China.

China is the second largest film market in the world, after the U.S., and it continues to grow. Box office receipts amounted to $6.8 billion in 2015, a 49% increase over the previous year. Around the country, entire towns have been constructed for the sole purpose of making movies. An hour’s drive outside Shanghai is a film lot that includes a reconstruction of several blocks of circa 1930s Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s famous shopping high street. Hengdian, in a region of the country known for manufacturing cheap souvenirs, consists of five distinct film villages, including a full-size replica of the Forbidden City. All of the permanent sets portray aspects of Chinese history. While most films produced here get little attention outside the Chinese market, the state-run film industry is working to change that. Just as Hollywood became an essential tool for U.S. ‘soft power’ diplomacy in the twentieth century, China’s growing film industry seeks to have a similar global influence in this century.

Mark Parascandola is a photographer based in Washington DC. A PhD epidemiologist by training, he uses photography to explore the interactions between human populations and their environment. Last year Mark was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and he was previously selected a Finalist for the Sondheim Prize in 2011 and a Semi-Finalist for Critical Mass in 2012. His work has been featured at galleries in Washington, DC and in Spain and appears in the DC Art Bank and numerous individual collections. His exhibit ‘Once Upon a Time in Almería’ was shown at the Embassy of Spain in 2012 and has since traveled to Miami and other locations. In June 2014, his first photobook Carabanchel was published, including photographs and text about the infamous Franco-era prison in Madrid.