Beijing-based artist Shi Guorui (b. 1964) uses early photographic technologies to create large-scale pinhole photographs and photograms. To capture his iconic sites, Shi Guorui constructs a camera obscura to capture views that have become historically symbolic reference points. The resulting black-and-white images have the visual sweep and spectacle of cinema; the views are familiar but strange at the same time. During a residency in the Bay Area last fall, jointly sponsored by the Fine Arts Museums, the For-Site Foundation, and East-West Bank, Shi Guorui created a series of photographs that respond to the de Young as a building, location, and collection. Excited by the vantage point from the tower of the de Young, Shi Guorui built two camera obscuras, one looking toward the ocean and one looking toward downtown San Francisco. He also created photograms that speak to the museum as a repository of memory represented by its collected objects.
Collection Connections presents new works that aim to reinterpret traditional objects from the de Young’s collections. The contemporary artists working in this space create installations that transform the conventional experience of museum viewers, drawing inspiration from the permanent collection.
Collection Connections is supported by the Annenberg Foundation.
Collection Connections is part of FAMSF’s Cultural Encounters initiative designed to attract new and diverse audiences to the Museums. Cultural Encounters is generously funded by the James Irvine Foundation.