Canadian born photographer Greg Girard has been shooting in Asia for quite a while and in Shanghai for the last six years. Some of the fruits of his labors were on display at the opening of his Studio Rouge show Downtown on Sunday. Much of Girard’s work focuses on homes. Many of the pictures at the show were exteriors of run-down, slated-for-destruction buildings. Often shot at dusk or at night, the very studiously composed shots show an incredible amount of detail, things you see all the time but perhaps never notice.
Girard’s other pictures are often of the interiors of houses (such as bedrooms) and shops — and in all his pictures, the almost complete lack of (sizeable) human presence gives the objects within the frame a ghostly quality, especially bathed in the colors of early evening when the afterglow of the sun and the neon lights of the night overlap, albeit briefly, and light up the city in a moody, surreal kind of way. Shanghaiist usually likes seeing pictures with human subjects — yet it’s precisely in the images where the human subject predominates that you miss the textures and details that jump out at you in Girard’s work.
This was the first time Shanghaiist had been to Studio Rouge — it’s right off the Bund, small, very white, very clean, and very sparse, traits we think make for a better viewing experience. You can check out more of Girard’s work on his website.
Earlier this afternoon we strolled over to the edge of another river, or rather, the creek. Tucked within an unassuming residential complex where Xikang Lu dead ends into Suzhou Creek, the No. D gallery , the brainchild of artist/designer Jiang Qiong Er (you’ve seen No. D jewelry shops in Xintiandi and an atelier boutique in the 50 Moganshan Lu art gallery area) hosted the Urban Harmony show by the Singaporean photographer Rolento, who, like most artists worth their salt, seems to go by one name. This show started on April 25 and should run for another two weeks or so, so catch while you can. Rolento’s photographs were taken in Singapore and use contrasty, bleached out or altered colors on simple, geometric, and often abstract compositions. They’re pretty cool-looking, though the quality of the prints leaves something to be desired. If you haven’t ventured out to this gallery, though, you definitely ought to — the furniture, photography, and workshops (where Jiang works on her artwork) are seamlessly integrated into a whole. Some of the furniture is actual old, traditional-styled stuff they’ve collected from around the region, and these items, plus the more modern looking vinyl stools and assorted couches, make it almost a pity that these objects are for sale — it’d make a hell of a space for anything: office, cafe, studio, naked Twister shindig site, and home.
Downtown runs from May 14-June 11 at Studio Rouge, 17 Fuzhou Lu. Daily 10:30 am-6:30 pm.
Urban Harmony runs from April 25-May 22 at Number D Gallery, 1518 Xikang Lu, Building 15, 2F.
Also in Shanghaiist:
Photo Exhibition: Becoming Shanghai
Greg Girard photo, not included in the show, from Document China.