Catch a glimpse of life — Michael Cherney

August 10, 2020

“My photographic travels in China are a means of immersing myself in art history; the heart-mind learns from the eyes.”

In the past two months, we have invited our artists to record video clips that offer glimpses of their life and thoughts during quarantine. In this video, viewers will listen to a poem read by artist Michael Cherney. The poem is entitled “A Step at a Time” and written by W. S. Merwin. In this video, Cherney said, “ It [The poem] explains why I miss in the landscape doing photography, but also explains why I love being at home with family.”


Michael Cherney studied Chinese language and history at the State University of New York at Binghamton, followed by graduate language study at Beijing Language Institute.  A self- taught photographer, Cherney’s formal studies, combined with his rigorous personal studies of China’s art historical past, have resulted in his abiding appreciation and even reverence for China’s rich history and painting tradition, particularly landscape painting. His relationship with China has been deepened by his residence in Beijing for well over two decades along with his extensive travel throughout China, seeking out the specific sites that have historical relevance to his work. He has described his art as a way “to look upon a place imbued with a vast (sometimes daunting) accumulation of history and cultural memory, and then to capture one instant, fleeting, tangible moment of it with a photograph.”