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June 26, 2019

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Montages create childhood sweethearts

SOME couples might regret they didn’t meet earlier so a local artist has arranged an exhibition to make up for it.

Initiated by local artist Ma Liang, the free exhibition underway at the Art Space on the fifth floor of Metro City in Xujiahui features composite photos of couples juxtaposed like childhood sweethearts.

Early in April 2018, Ma made such a photomontage with his wife as an anniversary gift. After posting the photo on Weibo, many of his friends and relatives asked him to do the same for them.

So he came up with the idea to launch a campaign through Weibo to solicit childhood photos from the couples who wish to see that they fell in love with each other as they grew up together. He then edited and combined photos for each couple.

“It’s a good way to keep love alive with a personalized gift,” said Ma. “It might be easier to do this compared with other artistic creations, but I think it is beautiful.”

Many participants shared their love stories with Ma, both romantic and sorrowful.

A couple from a village in southeast Fujian Province, for instance, found they once had photos taken in the same studio when they were young. In another story, a dying wife asked Ma to make a childhood photo of her and her husband as her last gift to him.

Ma has also made a short animated film for each of the composite photos on display. Visitors can scan the QR code on the photo with their mobile phone to watch the video and hear the love story from the owner of the photo.

Arranged by Xuhui Art Museum, the exhibition features over 100 photo frames collected by Ma from around the world. Household items, as well as vintage furniture, in the 1980s-90s are also displayed to create a warm nostalgic ambience at the site.


Date: Through August 12 (11am-9pm)

Venue: 5/F Metro City Art Space

Address: 1111 Zhaojiabang Rd


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