Roger Ballen, Waif, 54x36cm, 2012

Roger Ballen, Waif, 54x36cm, 2012

Roger Ballen’s famous photographic work has been concerned with the interior architecture of standing structures, playing on the metaphor of the mind as a house of secrets and buried narratives. He has created a series of images inspired by the drawings and marks which people make on their environment that link his unique aesthetic to theatrical performance. This exhibition will feature his 42 photographic works as well as 7 paintings, all of which will for the first time be showcased in China.

Separated into seven chapters or “acts”, The Theatre of Apparitions is a treat of Ballenesque images taking readers on a deep journey into their subconscious.

Inspired by the sight of hand-drawn carvings on blacked-out windows in an abandoned women’s prison, Ballen started to experiment using different spray paints on glass and then ‘drawing on’ or removing the paint with a sharp object to let natural light through.

Roger Ballen, Voices, 2012

Roger Ballen, Voices, 2012

The results are like prehistoric cave-paintings: the black, dimensionless spaces on the glass are canvases onto which Ballen carves his thoughts and emotions. Fossil-like facial forms and dismembered body parts coexist uncomfortably with vaporous, ghost-like shadows.

Earthly and otherworldly, physical and spiritual, his work transcends all traditional concepts of photography.

About the exhibition

Dates: 18 February – 19 March 2017
Opening Reception: 18 February 2017, 15:00

Venue: Aura Gallery, Beijing

Courtesy of the artist and Aura Gallery, for further information please visit

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