October 1, 2015 - November 1, 2015
In the winter of 2010, artist Thomas Alleman traveled to Inner Mongolia to photograph the cities of Xiangshawan, Ordos City, and the capital, Hohhot. Sharing a national border with Russia, this northernmost autonomous region within China claims twelve percent of the country’s total land mass. It is also rich in natural resources, which has lead to an exponential increase in gas and oil exploration since the turn of the twenty-first century. In addition, the government has expanded efforts to relocate Han Chinese to the larger cities of the region in order to dilute the indigenous Mongol population. In this selection of 21 prints, the bleakness of winter, along with the dehumanizing effects of modernization, are rendered in stark black-and-white through Alleman’s plastic lens, while the soft focus and vignetting inherent to the Holga camera heightens a sense of longing for a way of life that may have already been lost.
Thomas Alleman is a photographer currently living and working in Los Angeles, California. Born and raised in Detroit, Alleman graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in English Literature. He spent fifteen years working as a newspaper photojournalist in Los Angeles before freelancing as a commercial photographer for various editorial magazines. His photographs have been published in Time, People, Business Week, Barron’s, Smithsonian and National Geographic Traveler, and they have also appeared in US News & World Report, Brandweek, Sunset, Harper’s and Travel Holiday. Alleman has exhibited solo shows at Afterimage Gallery in Dallas, Texas, the Robin Rice Gallery in New York, the Xiangshawan Photo Festival in Inner Mongolia, China, California State at Chico, the Jewett Gallery in San Francisco, and the Duncan Miller Gallery in Los Angeles. This is Alleman’s second time exhibiting at Blue Sky.