Tag Archives: Powerhouse

The Gold Standard: James Nachtwey Photographs China’s Female Weight Lifters

When Chinese scouts set out to recruit athletes for their national women’s weight-lifting team in the late 1990s, they had specific criteria in mind. Calculated research had given them the perfect profile: stoic, quick, powerful and, of course, strong. By 2000, China had one of the most powerful teams in the world, and today, China’s female weight lifters are expected to dominate their competition in London.

(For daily coverage of the 2012 Games, visit TIME’s Olympics blog.)

In May, TIME sent contract photographer James Nachtwey to Beijing to photograph the national women’s weight-lifting team as it prepared for London. The photographs document the making of elite athletes in a country that has quickly become an Olympic powerhouse, earning the most gold medals of any nation in 2008’s Beijing Games.

Nachtwey’s images put faces to China’s supercharged athletic program. Photographed from behind, the arms, legs and shoulders of one team member look as solid as the massive weights she holds, with seemingly little effort, in her calloused hands. In another, Wang Mingjuan, a tiny woman at just 48 kg (106 lb.), lifts a burden that looks as if it would easily stump amateur weight lifters twice her size.

To explain China’s success in the sport, the national team’s coach Xu Jingfa offers a simple explanation: “We do everything together, and we work harder than everyone else.”

That hard work includes six-day weeks of all-day training. The 30 members of the national team wake together at 6:30 a.m. and begin a marathon schedule of exercise, physical therapy and classes that range from weight-lifting techniques to “ideological education.” Weight lifting has consumed their lives since they began training at age 10 or 11. In London, it will become clear just how much this dedication will pay off for China’s strongest women.

Read more about China’s Olympic athletes at TIME.com.

James Nachtwey is a TIME contract photographer who has covered Sept. 11 and the 2011 Japanese tsunami, among other topics, for the magazine. He was awarded the 2012 Dresden Peace Prize.

Rachel Hulin, Picnic

Rachel Hulin, Picnic

Rachel Hulin

Storrs, Connecticut, 2012
Website – RachelHulin.com

Rachel Hulin is a writer and photographer. Her work has been shown at Jen Bekman Gallery, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Wallspace Gallery, and The New York Photo Festival. She has written about photography for Photo District News, Emerging Photographer Magazine, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and The Faster Times. She is editor and co-founder of The Photography Post. Her first book — A children's photography book about a flying baby — will be published by powerHouse in April 2013.

Julia Gillard, Man with Shrubbery

Julia Gillard, Man with Shrubbery

Julia Gillard

Man with Shrubbery,
Miami, Florida, 2011
From the Greetings from Florida series
Website – JuliaGillard.com

Julia Gillard was born in Illinois. She is a graduate of the International Center of Photography’s Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program. Her work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, The New York Historical Society, powerHouse, Capricious Space, Galleri Lundh Åstrand (Stockholm), and has appeared in New York Magazine, Mother Jones, The Fader and the New York Times. Her new series, Greetings From Florida is being exhibited through July 30th at This Must Be The Place in Brooklyn, New York. 

Elinor Carucci in Feast Your Eyes

Feast Your Eyes

Exhibition on view:
January 6–January 27, 2012

powerHouse Arena:
37 Main Street
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 666-3049


The New York Photo Festival presents Feast Your Eyes: A Holiday Photo Invitational. Fascinated by America’s ever-growing food culture, The New York Photo Festival held an open competition, challenging photographers to submit their best photographs of food. The jurors selected over 30 winners to be in the exhibition including the Aperture-published Elinor Carucci. Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Carucci currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts. She was featured in Aperture magazine issue 182.

Andy Adams and The Future of Photo Books

I met Andy Adams at Review LA 4 or 5 years ago, though we had been corresponding prior to that, and knew that I would immediately like the guy, not only because we wear similar glasses, but because he had such a passion for photography. He started Flak Photo as part of Flak Magazine, with the simple premise of looking at one photograph a day (along with bodies of work featured on the site). Andy and the Flak Photo Network have evolved into a one-man powerhouse of knowledge and connectivity. He’s been on the road giving lectures and serving on panels at many photo related events around the county and recently started two Facebook Group pages, Flak Photo Network Group (with 2214 members and counting), and Flak Photo Photo Books. These groups (anyone interested on FB can join) allow for community, sharing, and conversation.

This is a typical statement from Andy:
I’m passionate about working with digital media to foster the art & culture of photography.
Interested in collaborating? Email me to chat about your project.

Another area that Andy is passionate about is the ever changing world of photobooks…in Andy’s words and a video of his recent lecture are below:

What will photobooks become over the next ten years?
Five years ago, I created FlakPhoto.com, a website that promotes photographers, book projects, and exhibitions from within the online photo community. In December 2009, I teamed up with Miki Johnson to produce The Future of Photobooks, a cross-blog conversation that considered the outlook for producing, consuming and funding independent photography publications. This summer I traveled to the Flash Forward Festival to join a panel of editors, publishers and designers who explored the state of photobooks in the Internet Era.

Here is the video from that event:

The Future of Photobooks: Flash Forward Festival Discussion from FlakPhoto.com on Vimeo.

Jeff Mermelstein

© Jeff Mermelstein

“From Helen Levitt to Garry Winogrand to Philip-Lorca diCorcia, the tradition of New York street photography has attracted the medium’s best and brightest. It takes nerve to join their ranks these days, and Mermelstein has plenty of it. Working in color, he’s made some of the slyest, funniest street pictures of the past twenty-five years….” —Vince Aletti, The New Yorker

To do street photography photographers fall in two camps. Some photographers are actually shy of people – curiously – and so they photograph by keeping the distance, by becoming unobtrusive, by blending with the street scape and taking the photographs fast without being noticed. Others, and many who master the craft fall in this camp, are bold and in your face so they point the camera without hesitation to be obtrusive and blunt. The image is taken then rapidly so it doesn””t become staged, but certainly the subjects are often well aware of shot, even when they don””t have time to respond to the situation and so they are framed without the possibility to affect the picture.

Jeff Mermelstein belongs to this second kind of street photographers, and his work is remarkable and exceptional, painting the humor the happenings and vibrancy of street life in New York City (see other videos here and here). Twirl/Run is his most recent book, by PowerHouse.