COAL + ICE Archive
COAL + ICE was first developed as a documentary photography exhibition for Three Shadows Photography Art Center in Beijing in 2011, and has since shown across China, in Paris at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence during COP21, and in smaller excerpts in Copenhagen and New Delhi. The past two exhibition were held in the United States: in San Francisco in 2018 at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture during Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit, and in 2022 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Highlight videos from each of these exhibitions can be found below.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
March 15 – April 23, 2022
COAL + ICE at the Kennedy Center centered around a vibrant six-week festival of climate-related events, including music, theater, panel discussions, art-making and more. Interventions by guest artists engaged local, national, and global communities, inviting audiences of all ages to join the climate conversation and seek new solutions to the global climate crisis.
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
September 4 – 23, 2018
The U.S. premiere of COAL + ICE in San Francisco coincided with California Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit, and included a three-week climate festival of dance, music, spoken word, food, family activities, films, educational programming, and creative dialogue that invited diverse audiences to participate in a conversation about climate change.
Hôtel de Pontalba
November 30 – December 11, 2015
On the occasion of COP21, COAL + ICE was adapted for the Hôtel de Pontalba, the official residence of the U.S. Ambassador to France.
A 14.5 meter wide LED screen erected on the garden lawn cycled through two panoramic presentations. The first featured historical and contemporary photographs of the Himalaya starkly revealing a loss of glacier mass due to climate change in the intervening years. The second focused on coal, and included both contemporary and historical images of mining and miners. A selection of prints and digital works were also presented inside the Ambassador’s Residence.
Vanke Center Xuhui
November 10, 2015 – March 1, 2016
In the leadup to COP21 in Paris, COAL + ICE was concurrently presented in Shanghai at the Vanke Center, Xuhui. Featuring photography and video works by 32 artists from around the world, the third iteration of the exhibition necessitated the complete transformation of the subterranean level of a newly developed office building into an immersive multimedia environment.
Yixian International Photo Festival
November 2 – 8, 2012
COAL + ICE traveled to Anhui Province in November 2012 to participate in the Yixian International Photo Festival, an event which was to coincide with the 2012 Bishan Harvestival. Because of the 18th Party Congress in Beijing, both festivals were cancelled the day before opening. Many people were still able to see the exhibition and Abigail Washburn performed traditional American coal mining songs in the hall (see video). For more information, please read the festival field report.
Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
September 24 – December 28, 2011
COAL + ICE premiered at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in 2011. The groundbreaking documentary photography exhibition featured the work of 30 photographers from China, the United States, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom, whose work visually narrates the hidden chain of actions triggered by humankind’s use of coal. The exhibition’s photographic arc moves from deep within the coal mines to the glaciers of the greater Himalaya where greenhouse gasses are warming the high altitude climate. As these mighty glaciers melt at an accelerated pace, the great rivers of Asia that flow from the Tibetan Plateau into the oceans are disturbed, and the lives of billions of people downstream are disrupted.