Rongrong and inri

Photographers, Rongrong:*1968 Zhengzhou, Inri: *1973 Kanagawa, Japan, they live in Beijing

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Rongrong and inri, 2008, photo artspeakchina

RongRong is a Chinese photographer, who achieved prominence in the 1990s for his gritty depictions of life in the East Village of Beijing. More recently, he has been recognized for his collaborations with artistic partner and wife, inri, whom he met in 2000. inri earned her training as a portrait photographer for a Japanese newspaper before setting out on her own in 1997 to pursue less traditional subject matter. He couple ives and works in Beijing.

Zhang Huan beset by flies,
performance of “Third Contact”,1994

Ma Liuming and Zhang Huan's
performance of “Third Contact”, 1995

Before he met inri in 1999 RongRong lived in the run-down Beijing East Village where he became popular for his photographs of other artists and their work. He especially documented performances by Beijing artist Zhang Huan. Trained as a painter at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Zhang won recognition as a performance artist by subjecting himself to violent sensory assaults.
Inri likewise was pushing the boundaries of artistic practice to their limits. Before she quit her job at Asahi Shimbun (1999), she was renowned for the ferocious intensity of her portraits of models she encountered in Tokyo.

When the two artists met, their interests moved from personal introspection to an opening up to the world. They sought to explore their joint relationship in the landscape surrounding them and to create their own space in it. In the way ancient artists might accompany a painting of a landcape with a poem, RongRong and inri use their own bodies to add poetic lyricism to the landscapes they discover. Their art is a penetration of nature and a perfect symbiosis, as can be seen in the 16 picturers of their 2001 series, “In Fujisan-Japan”. - Possibly their most intriguing photographs.


Fujisan Series, 2001, photos Walsh Gallery

“Disappointment”, Burning her Wedding Gown, 2000, photo blindspotgaller
Hand-dyed gelatin silver print, set of 4, 100 x 100 cm each

Bad Goisern, Austria, 2001, photo blindspotgallery
Hand-dyed gelatin silver print, set of 3, 100 x 164 cm each

Beijing Studio, 2002, photo blindspotgallery
Gelatin silver print, 100 x 100 cm

Caochangdi, Beijing 2009, photo blindspotgallery
Hand-dyed gelatin silver print, 102 x 109 cm