Eric Guo (China, 1964) is not your average photographer. Eric Guo is not an average man either. He is a quiet, private man, whose only interest is creating breathtaking works of art. He doesn’t drive a fancy car, and you won’t see him at the next hipster vernissage. Day after day, year after year, you will find him in his studio, perfecting his art. This guy is a force of nature: a poet, an artisan of the image, a fucking genius. Pardon our French.
Eric was born in a poor, mountainous region in northern China. Aged 18 he entered the Hebei Arts and Crafts School where he studied oil painting. Upon graduation, 3 years later, he became interested in photography. Owning a camera though, was for him like a distant dream. He moved from the Hebei province to Beijing where he perfected his studies at the Central Academy of Crafts and fine Arts for one year, moving towards Fine Art Photography. In 2007 he travelled for a year in the mountains of the LiangShan County, in the north-eastern part of the Sichuan province, where the ethnic minority group, the Yi, have lived for centuries. There he shot one of his most representative series titled Meisa, the name of a village located at about 3000 metres above sea level. There, the Yi have their own language and alphabet that are incomprehensible to outsiders.
In a similar way, regardless of the format it features, Eric’s work possesses an enigmatic and at the same time strongly evocative quality. He has a wide range of stylistic approaches, with a sense of colour and composition deeply influenced by his oil painting background. This collection is divided in 3 groups of photographic works: Untouchables, Warmth of Its Own and Facing Each Other. Untouchables features a character and her double, painted with the melancholic tones of introspection, in a poetic, profound longing for light. Warmth of Its Own uses childhood as a visual theme to investigate a complex spectrum of conflicting emotions, ranging from loneliness and abandonment to pure, uninhibited joy. The last group, Facing Each Other, is made of portraits of characters divided between the material and spiritual world, between hope and fear, between dream and reality, in an elegant and soft chiaroscuro in black and white.
With precise and patient craftsmanship Eric produced photographs that speak to us of a society undergoing drastic transformations, where traditional values and contemplation are often replaced by materialistic dreams of success, power and money. In this collection, he depicts The Awesome through nostalgia and onirism. Eric transports us in a world before language, populated by ghostly presences, shadows of a forgotten past where the image was the only form of communication.