RongRong started their career as an artist to explore a style of
self-expression in the beginning of 90âs when the concept of photographic
art had not prevailed in China yet. He moved to the East Village of Beijing
in 1993. Through an active exchange with emerging artists from the same
generation, he elaborated on an unique style of works both as a
documentarist and an artist, which received high evaluation home and abroad.
The self-published magazine by RongRong âNEWPHOTOâ(1996-1998) brought a
sensation for not only the readers but for the young artist also. Their
works were introduced in the magazine with accompanying documentation. The
magazine created a platform for the artists mutual understanding and
eventually activating the art scene in China. Now the magazine assumes a
significant role as a valuable archive for early works by those who emerged
in late 90âs.
Inri started her carrier as an artist in the late 90âs in Japan and took
portraits of performers including a contemporary dancer, Naoko Shirakawa and
singer, Momoko Bitou. These portraits created an intensity only felt on the
stage. In 1999 she first met RongRong during his stay in Japan whilst
visiting a group show. They then started their relationship through
photo-shooting without verbal communication. Since 2000 they have been
collaborating as RongRong&inri, after 2002 they produced a series which
feature their own lives.
Images in the well-known seriesâLiulitunâwere taken from around their
residence which was under de-construction via government regulation. At the
time the government called for their deportation for the purpose of regional
development. Every image tells the story of the massive development project,
some including self-portraiture works.The image of themselves standing with
lilies in the ruined town speaks of their regret at parting, and, the
resistance against the power in silence.
In the later series of âCaochandiâ and âThree Shadowsâ, they recorded their
personal history with their newly born children. These works are taken in
the new land. These images not only overlap their turbulent days in China
but reflect the decades of upheaval that China witnessed.
In 2006 RongRong&inri founded the private museumâThree Shadows Photography
Art Centreâin Caochangdi, Beijing. The building holds a gallery, library,
accommodation for residencees, dark rooms, a cafĂŠ and restaurant. The centre
plans photography exhibitions as well as related events to promote education
on photography. They are open to the public and have enlisted international
artists for residential program at the centre. In the spring 2010, they
assigned with the photography festival in Arles France which is with a
history of 40 years. The festival was entitled âCaochangdi Photo Spring
2010âand got 5000 visitors for opening day. Daido Moriyama and Yoshinobu
Araki also held their solo show in the centre. In the following months, the
center received the first Japanese photographer, Ken Kitano for
artist-in-residence program and hosted Kitanoâs solo exhibition from July to
August this year.