Mariagrazia Beruffi presents the personal exhibition “Chinese Whispers”
Riva Tre Novembre / Angolo Via Mazzini - Trieste
Sunday 29 October 2023
On the east coast of China the future has already passed and the past no longer seems to interest anyone. People, and especially young people, are experiencing a very contradictory reality where a booming economy, consumerism and cutting-edge technology clash with the looming presence of a “Big Brother” who sees and records everything.
Mariagrazia Beruffi’s is an attempt to understand and penetrate a way of being so different from ours. But communication in that world has different codes. In fact, the West is used to shouting opinions and judgments, which, even if sometimes in a perverse and destructive way, always reflect a search for freedom and truth. In China, however, the silence is deafening. Thought, if it is called upon to express a position on sensitive issues, does not reveal itself.
An “unsaid” that seems to be the result of a naive and disarming impotence. Life in the hasty and distracted society of megacities must only be consumed, not thought about. So I didn’t ask questions or wait for answers.
These photographs arise from chance encounters on the streets, in bars, on the subway and in the shopping centers of Nanjing, Shanghai and Xiamen. But also in the nearby Huangshan mountains where, during the holidays, people flock in droves like ants to perhaps rediscover their roots in nature and the territory, as deep and tortuous as their history.
What is hidden behind those often reticent and delicate looks, like the feelings of orientals, known to be mostly secret, I cannot know, but it has often been possible to create, even if fleetingly, empathy and sharing even something intimate , never banal. I like to think that I have searched, with lightness and respect, for that thin line between reality and the fluctuating perception we have of it. Just like in a “Chinese Whisper” (the wireless telephone game for the English-speaking world), a whisper said slowly in the ear, heard and then reported.
Definitely imperfect, but real.