Shi Guorui, ‘Shanghai, China, 15–16 October 2004 上海’, 2004, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

史国瑞 上海

Image rights: Photo courtesy the artist

Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013-14

Lent by M+ Sigg Collection, Hong Kong

About Shi Guorui

Shi Guorui captures sweeping images of cityscapes and natural vistas using a camera obscura, an antique photographic technique of exposing light-sensitive paper to subjects through a tiny pinhole. Though his technique shows an affinity for the past, Shi’s subjects of choice are distinctly contemporary: he has produced images of Ground Zero in New York, urban sprawl in the American West, and sites of Chinese development and environmental encroachment, all captured in a dynamic blurry monochrome that lends the scenes a sense of timelessness. Shi spends hours framing and calculating each shot in his makeshift, onsite darkrooms, a meditative process stemming from his survival of a traumatic car crash. “I want to take a long time for everything,” he says. “I wanted to choose a method that is completely suited to my interior landscape. So my body, my thinking, all mesh with this kind of method.”

Chinese, 1964 , Shanxi Province, China, based in Beijing, China