From political leaders to celebrities, photographic portraits exert considerable influence over our reaction to public figures. As the first academic publication focused on the Taikang photography collection, this book explores both the mechanics of portraiture and its psychological effects.
Taikang Space is one of the most important non-profit art institutions in China. Based in Beijing, they focus on contemporary art and photography. Portrait Fever is based on the framework of the eponymous exhibition, which ran at Taikang Space from March 2017. This book introduces the curator and researchers involved with the exhibition, as well as researchers such as Shi Zhimin, Jin Yongquan, Liu Jianping, Liu Zhangbolong, who deliver their own unique angles on the topic of portrait photography. Portrait Fever also features the curator’s interviews with Qia Sijie, Chen Shilin and Zhang Zuo – respectively the personal photographer, standard portrait re-toucher and darkroom technician of Chairman Mao.