A unique set of photographs documenting the underground Catholic Church in China premieres at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16.
The photos were taken by renowned Chinese documentary photographer Lu Nan. This is the first time this comprehensive set of photographs have been exhibited in the United States.
Jesuit Catholic missionaries traveled to China in the 16th century, and Franciscans earlier. Some Chinese who practiced Catholicism chose to go underground in 1949 when communists came to power. Although some state-sponsored Catholic churches remained, many chose to practice their faith behind closed doors and in secret.
Lu Nan, born in 1962 in Beijing, grew up during the cultural revolution. He has spent his career documenting humanitarian issues in China. Subjects of his work in the past have included portraits of hospitalized mental patients, life in Tibet, and the Myamar prison camps.
“These photographs are both striking and stirring,” says School of Communication Dean Don Heider, PhD. “They show how people hold on to their faith under extraordinary conditions. Lu Nan represents documentary photography at its very best.”
The exhibition, which consists of 60 photographs, is open to the public and will be on display through December 2010.
Loyola’s School of Communication is located at 51 E. Pearson Street. Call 312 915-7740 for more information.
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