2xG Art Group (Zhi Gao) | Issue Eleven Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work

I live in the Inner Mongolia of the Northern China, where there are endless grasslands and Gobi deserts and clustered galloping horses and falcons. The unique living environment and images in my eyes have enabled me to ruminate and think over pictures and realism elements that I have seen since my childhood. I majored in the Visual Communication Design in my university. And I am now in the first year of photography at the Royal College of Art.

How would you describe your approach to photography?

During the postgraduate period, my main research direction lies in the demonstration manner established by the photography between human wills and the natural world. I’m interested in the “reconfigurability” caused by the natural world, the industrial society and human beings.

What is your working process?

I used an old Panasonic camera and the frame image presented by it has a sense of proximity and poetry better than flow image. And I also tried using a large format camera, its format is more suitable for presenting “ pure objective nature”.

What do you feel the role of artists and photographers is in society?

My working process is probably the same as most photography beginners. In addition, I will write some scripts before shooting some complex topics, because I think I prefer to show the story of the photos, and in this case, I need to do some literary combing. Photos are never alone, they must be possessed by something.

How can artists raise awareness for mental health?

I don't know much about artists. I think the role of photographers in society is more of a communication and a contribution to the visual arts. I don't want to describe my role in a very "illusion" way, but I believe that for a small number of photographers, they retain and interpret themselves, and they don't need to live under an artistic definition.

Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects in the works?

Reading, art theory and philosophy are good choices. Stay away from love and exercise more. During the school summer vacation, I will return to China to host an exhibition with my partner Jialin Guan(We co-founded the 2xG Art Group), because I will carry out a series of new photography creations in China. I also hope to bring more works to the UK.

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