Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art



Steve Christensen

Photography Exhibition Documenting the Underground Catholic Church in China

Opens at LUMA

CHICAGO, February 10, 2011

A remarkable set of photographs documenting the underground Catholic Church in China opens at the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) on Saturday, February 12. The photographs, most recently on view at Loyola’s School of Communication, were taken by renowned Chinese documentary photographer Lu Nan between 1992 and 1996.

Jesuit missionaries first traveled to China in the 16th century. Several centuries later, when the Communists eventually came to power in 1949, many Chinese citizens who practiced Catholicism chose to go underground. Although some state-sponsored Catholic churches remain, many people still choose to practice their faith in secret.

Photographer Lu Nan, born in 1962 in Beijing, grew up during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). He has spent his career documenting humanitarian issues in China. Past subjects of his work have included hospitalized mental patients, life in Tibet, and Myanmar prison camps.

“These photographs are both striking and stirring,” said Loyola School of Communication dean Don Heider, PhD, who helped to bring this exhibition to LUMA. “They show how people hold on to their faith under extraordinary conditions.”

The exhibition, consisting of 60 black-and-white photographs, will run through May 1, 2011.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

Art illuminating the spirit!