Shi Guorui is one of China’s foremost photographers recognised for his large-scale productions of traditional camera obscura images of landscapes and monuments around the world. His work is frequently exhibited in international museums and institutions, including The de Young Museum, San Francisco; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Royal Ontario Museum, Canada; Groninger Museum, The Netherlands; and the National Art Museum of China, Beijing. This fully-illustrated publication includes an essay by Britta Erickson, noted scholar and lecturer in the field of contemporary Chinese art and coincides with an exhibition of his works in Los Angeles, California. It is the first complete monograph of Shi Guorui’s camera obscura works from 2001 through 2011.
While Shi’s use of the camera obscura is deeply personal, Rebirth’s subject matter documents an expansive contemporary dialogue about the relationships of an evolving global society. The current show highlights a new collection of photographs of urban sites in the US and China that contrasts themes of American economic hegemony and globalisation with China’s aspiring development and the architectural language of power, whether over nature, man, or physical space. With these works, Shi alludes to the American Dream as it exists in America and as it is conveyed and interpreted in China. Each image is also documented in a specific period of current conflict or historic significance. Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving modern society in China and within the context of an increasingly complex global community, Shi’s works visually examine the structures that symbolise cultural, political and economic authority in our present time.