Li Shi is the major grantee of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant 2017–18.
Li Shi’s research project, “Li Zhensheng’s Photographic Self-portraits between the 1950s and 1980s,” examines Li Zhensheng’s self-portraits from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, and determines how these photographs respond to his personal circumstances and China’s significant societal shifts within that timeframe. Li Zhensheng was one of the very few photographers who, despite the political sanction, documented the bleaker aspects of Cultural Revolution in China. Yet he was also employed at an official newspaper and produced glorified propaganda images of the deified Chairman Mao Zedong. In dealing with the bifurcate nature of Li Zhensheng’s work, Li Shi’s proposed project analyses the self-portrait both as an artefact and a work of self-representation, engaging in a meaningful exercise that bridges the field of art history and criticism with that of media and communication studies.
Li Shi received her PhD in mass communications at Indiana University Bloomington. She is currently Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her essay on the rise of citizen photojournalism during the April Fifth Movement, published in Visual Communication Quarterly, was nominated for “Outstanding Journal Article of the Year” at the 2013 International Communication Association (Journalism Studies Division). Her 2018 publication in Asian Journal of Communication focuses on Chinese photojournalism reform in the 1980s.
Jury for the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant 2017–18 include:
Julia Andrews, Professor, The Ohio State University
Lai Hsiang Ling, Director, Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab
Martina Koppel-Yang, Paris-based independent art historian and curator
Jane DeBevoise, Art Historian, Chairperson of Asia Art Archive’s Board of Directors
Anthony Yung, Researcher, Asia Art Archive