For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator, (510) 981-7533

THE SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLES OF SOUTHWEST CHINA

Berkeley, California (Thursday, June 14, 2007) - Beginning May 29 and running through Sunday, July 8, the public is invited to view the exhibition of photographs and folk art,  entitled "The Spirit of the Yi and Peoples of Southwest China at the Addison Street Windows Gallery on 2018 Addison Street in Berkeley, CA.."  The exhibition can be viewed from the sidewalk on Addison Street, and it is free and wheelchair accessible.

The Yi, numbering almost seven million people, inhabit regions of three provinces in Southwest China. They are barely known in China and largely unknown in the West. The Yi maintain a vibrant culture unique in its dress, religious practices, language and traditions. Martin Newman took these photographs in the Liangshan (cool mountains) Autonomous region in southern Sichuan province. Among the most impoverished places in China, this remote region is dotted with villages where the Yi live as they have for centuries.

These photographs are part of Martin Newman's personal project of documenting indigenous peoples and bearing witness to their unique way of life, making a visual record before they are absorbed into the globally homogenizing culture.

The textiles and hand crafted objects in the exhibition were collected by Nancy Mckay during  frequent trips to Thailand, Burma and China for her Berkeley business, Nancy Mckay Design and Trading Company. Nancy's love of Asia and its art began in the 1970's on her first trip, and has involved years of collecting objects inspired by deep cultural roots in folk art, textiles, and everyday furnishings bearing the patina of age. You can see the collection at www.nancymckaydesign.com 

Martin Newman is a self-taught photographer and practicing psychotherapist who specializes in photographing indigenous peoples throughout the world. He is currently putting together a book of photographs of the people of Kham, Tibet. In addition to exhibiting throughout the Bay Area, his photographs can be viewed at   www.martinnewman.org

The Addison Street Windows Gallery is a project of the Civic Arts Program of the City of Berkeley in cooperation with the Civic Arts Commission. For information about the exhibition and the Addison Street Windows Gallery please visit the Civic Arts web page or contact Mary Ann Merker, Civic Arts Coordinator at (510) 981-7533.

###