|RongRong & inri - Three Begets Ten Thousand Things|
|Written by In the document|
|Published: June 17 2011|
RongRong & inri "Caochangdi, Beijing 2004 No.2"
RongRong & inri are a husband-and-wife photographer team, natives of China and Japan, respectively. Their work, in which the photographers themselves often appear, takes up themes like social realities in China, their own experiences living in that society, and the relationships between people and the beauties of nature. Series like In Fujisan, We were here, Liulitun, Three Shadows and Caochangdi have won critical acclaim in the West.
RongRong and inri met in 1999 at one of RongRong’s exhibitions in Japan, and the following year inri relocated to Beijing and the two began working together. RongRong returned to Japan in 2001 to participate in the Shiseido Gallery–sponsored Asian Walks exhibition, and in May 2010, the pair launched a major retrospective of 170 works, Compound Eye: Works by RongRong & inri (2000-2010), at the He Xiangning Art Museum, in Shenzhen, China.
In June 2007, RongRong & inri founded the “Three Shadows Photography Art Centre” in the Beijing suburb of Caochangdi, the first private contemporary art space in China dedicated to photography. This 2,500m2 facility (situated on 4,600m2 grounds) aims to be a platform for discovering, popularizing, and developing Chinese contemporary photographic art. Throughout the year it holds a variety of exhibitions, publishes photo collections, runs an artist-in-residence program, and conducts various types of projects and events. From 2010 the Centre began a relationship with the forty year-old Rencontres d'Arles photography festival in France, and has begun hosting a reciprocal event called Caochangdi Photospring, the first international photography festival in Beijing. Through these various activities, the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre has been earning considerable international attention.
In 2009, the Centre also began sponsoring the “Three Shadows Photography Award,” a program that aims to discover and cultivate young Chinese photographers. Shiseido has supported this program, as part of its Mecenat activities, with the “Shiseido Prize” awarded to women photographers.
The title of this current exhibition, Three Begets Ten Thousand Things, comes from Lao Tzu’s classic text Tao Te Ching, in which it is written, “the Way begets the one, the one begets the two, the two begets the three, and the three begets the infinite [lit. ‘the ten-thousand’].” In this same sense, the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre founded by RongRong & inri is a single place from which an infinity of photographic worlds might be conceived, and the two photographers say that the name “Three Shadows” contains a definite link to this ideal.
At this exhibition, featured photo series include: Liulitun, which explores the redevelopment of the Beijing Siheyuan (traditional Chinese courtyard house) where RongRong & inri used to live; Three Shadows, which chronicles their establishment of the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre after their move to the Beijing suburb of Caochangdi; and Caochangdi, which shows the two photographers building their family and lives there. The couple have used their encounters in photography to understand one another, to overcome barriers of nationality and language, to live together, marry, and build a family with their three children, and to establish their Centre, and throughout all of these changes their photographic work has changed as well. In the Liulitun series there is a deep sadness at the departure of a previously familiar habitat, but the Three Shadows series that captures the process of founding the Centre, and the Caochangdi series, with its portraits of children, offer a sense of hope for the future, and a sense of peace, confidence, and mutual trust.
All are welcome to come see these works and appreciate how they chronicle the paths these photographic artists have pursued, hopefully, against the backdrop of a modernizing China.
inri was born in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan in 1973. She graduated from the Nippon Photography Institute in Tokyo in 1994, then joined the photography department of the Asahi News. In 1997, she struck off on her own to pursue creative activities as a freelance photographer.
These two photographers, with their separate experiences in the field, met in 1999 at a RongRong solo exhibition in Japan, and the following year inri moved to Beijing to join him and form the collaborative team of RongRong & inri. In May 2007, they founded Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in the Caochangdi arts district, the first private Chinese art space dedicated solely to contemporary photography.
Selected Major Solo Exhibitions
Selected Major Group Exhibitions
Gallery Talk by RongRong & inri (in Japanese language only)
* The text provided by Shiseido Gallery.
Duration: Saturday, July 2 - Sunday, August 14, 2011
|Last Updated on July 02 2011|