GU, YOU

born 1990 in Hunan, China, based in Berlin and Beijing.
guyouguyou@gmail.com

ins: gu.youuu


I grew up in a period of rapid social and economic development in China emphasized with cultural fusion and digitalization. I was deeply influenced by cinema, music, comics and literature.

Guided by my own experiences and the journeys made between the East and the West, my works deal with questions of identity and cultural clashes associated with them, in transhistorical and transnational contexts. With these works I probe into the veiled historical and cultural convictions, conflicts and contradictions, individual and community, self-experience and mentalities behind human behaviour.

The dominant medium of my artistic practice is photography that engages in peculiar analogue photography printing techniques. For me, photography is like slices extracted from a complete story, of which I tell my account through an unconventional technique I have developed during my studies. I allow the pixels to ripple, resulting in morphed images of the original content. Through the undulations of these new visual elements, the meaning of the photograph becomes blurred. This transformation has a two-fold significance to me; on one hand this is a mirroring my cognitive habitat and on the other, it is a welcoming entry point for the beholder to create similarly unique and personal interpretations.

For my latest project “New World”, I have traveled through the Balkan countries inspecting the sites of post-Soviet memorials since 2018. During these adventurous travel, alongside my artistic occupations, my nationality and identity have turned into an inseparable part of my work; and my thinking became clear: My thoughts on the issue of identity aren’t about taking offense at being mistaken for the wrong nationality, nor do I intend to accuse the prejudiced behaviour towards Asians in Europe. What interests me is, rather, what lies behind the necessity felt by many to quickly categorize one another as friend or foe through perceived identities: how we, as humans, are habitually under the influence of the ever-present political power dynamics as well as contemporary media; how we are constantly immersed in the vortex of stereotype and prejudice perhaps involuntarily; and how religions and rights’ groups can often not coexist due to a conflict of interest. If we could temporarily shed the conveniently preconceived notions as much as possible, and grow a more conscientious awareness of such circumstances, we may perhaps grasp a truer understanding of others’ lives and all the complexities, and go on to treat people merely as themselves. This seems especially relevant, given the precarious and turbulent times we are living through at present.




EDUCATION

2014 - 2021      Meisterschüler, Diploma Course, Fine Art & Photography, Berlin University of Arts, Germany
2009 - 2013      B.F.A. New Media Art, Beijing Film Academy, China 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2021      BURNING, Kunstraum Confucius Institute, Nuremberg, Germany
              NEW WORLD - graduation exhibition, UdK Berlin, Germany

2020      FUTURE WITHOUT A PAST, Migrant Bird Space, Berlin, Germany
              MODUS OPERANDI, Villa Heike, Berlin, Germany

2019      MODUS OPERANDI, Museum für Fotografie Berlin, Germany
              BLIND SPOT, LEVANT art, Shanghai, China
              THE OUTSIDE WALL OF CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY, UdK Berlin, Germany
              KNOCK DOWN THE DUVET, Kronenboden, Berlin, Germany
              DIGITAL IMAGE OF CONTEMPORARY CHINESE YOUNG ARTIST, Lang Museum, Qingdao, China

2018      AUF DER JAGD NACH DEM NIERENSTEIN, West Berlin, Berlin, Germany
              THE STRUCTURE OF THE DIMENSION, Kerry · HABITAT, Qin Huangdao, China

2017      ITERATION AND BLENDING - 4th BFA New Media Art Triennial, Enjoy-Art Museum, Beijing, China
              IBB-PREIS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY, Investitionsbank Berlin, Germany
              IMAGINARY PORTRAIT & OBJECT, Köppe Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
              SEEN BY #8, Museum für Fotografie Berlin, Germany
SELECTED AWARDS

2021      Nomination, 25.Bundeswettbewerb, Bundespreis für Kunststudierenden, Germany 
2020      Studienabschluss-Stipendium des DAAD, Berlin, Germany
2018      New Media Art Triennial Academy Award, Beijing, China
2017      Honorable Mention, IBB-Preis für Photographie, Berlin, Germany