Guan Shi is a pioneering conceptual photographer who in 1999 started to take one photo every day. In his "Diary", he recorded the mundane, repetitive actions that make up ordinary life. Guan Shi's photography illustrates a developing aesthetic language which focuses on a conceptual engagement with daily life and the intertwined relationships that support it. His playful yet thought provoking work questions the fixed norms that make up our daily lives as well as the issue of identity in China's rapidly changing cultural climate.
In his "37°N" series, completed in 2003-4 and exhibited at China Art Archives and Warehouse, Beijing, October/November, 2004 Guan Shi used documentary photography to record 210 days in his life. Using a GPS receiver, he photographed himself at each longitudinal intersection along the 37°N latitude in China. His main aim was to deviate from normal daily life and carry out a scientific experiment which also had a ritual aspect. The photographic project challenges the nature of how we experience life in time and plays with "fluid time" in its experiential, abstract and psychological aspect. Using various technological methods, Guan Shi recreates the experience of time where past, present and future meld.
In his "Road" series (2007), he shifts again to a recording of artificially constructed reality. A section of tarmac road complete with white markings ends abruptly in the middle of a remote mountainous Xinjiang landscape. A group of people stare into the distance ahead, whether in hope or despair, it is not clear. Guan Shi built the road himself for this project. The effect is surreal and unsettling.
"First Shampoo" (2009 C-print) shows a woman from Guangxu Province having the first shampoo of her life. She is a grateful beneficiary of "The Village People Project", an ongoing mission to build bathhouses in rural areas of China.
1974 born in Xinjiang, China. 1988 graduated from Xinjiang Art Institute and now lives in Beijing.
2008 Guan Shi Works 2003-2007, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China
2004 37 North Latitude, Art Archives & Warehouse Beijing, China
Selected Group Exhibitions
The Youth Upstairs, Times Museum, Beijing, China
Natural, Unnatural Photography Exhibition, Songzhuang Museum, Beijing, China
TORA TORA TORA: Chinese Cutting-Edge Photography Exhibition, Caochangdi PhotoSpring, Beijing
The Village People Project - Everybody Come and Wash Quickly, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China
Nothing, Genssun International Art Space, Beijing, China
Winter, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China
Fabricating Images from History, China Glue Gallery, Beijing, China
See Through, Hong Kong Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
Art Binhe, Art Binhe, Beijing
Shanghai Art Expo, Shanghai, China
Attitude, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China
Cold Energy, PYO Gallery, Beijing, China
Mask vs Face, Potsdam, Germany
CONVERGENCE at E116.65ÃÂ°/N40.13, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute Space A, Beijing, China
One to One, Chambers Fine Art, New York, USA
In search of...., Art Archives & Warehouse, Beijing, China
The 10th International Biennial Print & Drawing, Exhibition 10ROC, Taiwan, China
Asian Artist Recommendation Award of Shanghai Art Expo 2007