Shi Guowei ╱ The Drawn Out Moment
Binding: sewn perfect binding, hardcover with a jacket
Published by Jiazazhi & SCoP, in May 2021
"Over the past several years, I have been trying to break the boundaries between photography and painting; to tear down the dated, stale wall in-between them. In a more precise way, I’m straddling the borderline between them, trying to keep my balance as if I were a tightrope walker on a wire, leaning neither to one side nor to the other side; neither towards photography, nor towards painting. This is the means by which I keep alert to my process, and calm when dealing with things around me; the means by which I don’t lose my way but stay on track, and enrich the work I do. It’s like being on the edge of a river, where nutrients are the most abundant and the conditions for growth more fertile than elsewhere. My work has become increasingly without a unifying theme in recent years. In the face of reality, to place too much emphasis upon a single theme is self-defeating. Artworks without an obvious theme are imbued with a purer and more profound aura. I take photos of a meadow, a pile of rocks, or trees in a forest, filling up the entire frame with them. When you look at the pictures, they are like the face of your spouse that you’ve never looked at in such detail: familiar yet strange and somehow touching. Next, I paint over the photos, tracing the familiar outlines of all those objects slowly and carefully with my brush, with a layer of color that is perfectly logical. When the painting process is completed, and when you look at my “black-and-white photograph”, you will be wondering if is it still the same forest that I photographed. The image will seem so … Maybe this uncertainty is the meaning of “art” that we search for. It is what I have been pushing towards in creating on the borderline between photography and painting."