“I want to make the most elaborately detailed description possible of the things I photograph.  It is an attempt on my part to make them more believable than the world. My particular camera allows for an extraordinary level of description. The platinum printing process that I use can give the images an ethereal subtlety. I am aware that in my work there is the potential for things to look too beautiful. There are many factors that go into this. After all, the West has a long history of romanticizing Asia. Yet, photography is always fiction:  it can not, nor do I want it to, stand in for the real world. Over the years the fictions I have created through photography have expanded to describe a veritable, as well as a mythical China, both of which are integral to my vision.”


Lois Conner began photographing China on a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1984. She has returned annually ever since, travelling with a 7 x 17 inch banquet camera, to capture its landscapes, architecture, and people.

Conner’s work has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including: Cleveland Museum of Art, “Beijing: Contemporary and Imperial”, 2014; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, “Chinese Gardens: Pavilions, Studios, Retreats”, 2012; Museum of Modern Art, New York, “Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography”, 2012; Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada “Angkor Wat”, 2008; The British Library, London, England, “The Silk Road: Trade, Travel, War and Faith” 2005; Musee de L’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, “Asie-la ligne du paysage” 1997; Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., “Landscape as Culture”, 1994.

Waterdrop, Lotus, Yuanming Yuan, Beijing, 2009
Archival Pigment Print
23 x 60 inches
Edition 3 of 6