Beijing-based photographer Shi Guorui is internationally recognized for his large-scale photographs produced with a camera obscura, including projects at the Great Wall of China, the Shanghai riverfront, and K2, the second highest mountain in the world. The resulting images, some as wide as fifteen feet, emphasize the iconic status of each location and commemorate the human endeavor associated with it. The artist's projects normally require months of planning and often entail several weeks of on-site shooting. He builds his massive camera into the landscape, and exposures often last several hours.
He writes: “All the locations I photograph have one feature in common, a rich role in the lives of humans. There are printed thoughts, notions, feelings, and memories left behind in history by humans while exploring and changing the world. Time flies and things change. All the way through history natural scenery and constructions remain (barring earthquakes!) while relevant people disappear. Living in the present, how can we recapture and reproduce historical thoughts, opinions, feelings or memories by means of photography? And what new experiences and feelings can we come up with during the process of recapture and reproduction?”
Here, Shi Guorui presents images that contain objects from the permanent collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Made during a residency in the Bay Area, these life-size photograms were the subject of a subsequent exhibition at the de Young Museum in 2007 as part of its Collection Connections series.
Shi Guorui was born in 1964 in Shanxi Province of China. In 1992, he graduated from the Photography Department of Nanjing Normal University. Since 2002, Shi has exhibited extensively worldwide. His recent selected solo exhibitions include Shi Guorui: Scenes, F2 Gallery, Beijing (2011); The Same is Not the Same: Shi Guorui & Andrea Good, Offene Kirche Elisabethen Basel, Switzerland (2010); Reproduction and Refashioning, The de Young Museum, San Francisco (2007). His recent selected group exhibitions include Developed and Undeveloped: Photographic Landscapes, The de Young Museum, San Francisco (2010-2011); Chinese Windows 2010: Big Draft – Shanghai – Chinese Contemporary Art from the Sigg Collection, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland (2010); The State of Thing: The Exchanging of Contemporary Art Between China and Belgium, Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR), Brussels (2009). Shi currently lives and works in Beijing.