Gao Bo

© BoSTUDIO. Photo by Pierre-Jean Remy

Born in 1964 in the Sichuan province in China, Gao Bo discovered his calling after a first trip to Tibet, in 1985, where he made a series of portraits of an impressive mastery. After graduating from the Fine Arts Institute of Tsinghua University (Beijing) in 1987, he moved to France in 1990 and became a member of the VU agency. He lives and works in Beijing since 2009.

Gao Bo’s work blurs the lines between photography, installation art and performance. With Marcel Duchamp’s precepts as much as with Lao Tseu’s thought in mind, he soon realizes the limits of his photographic practice and starts a process of questioning and reinvention of his work. Using the material he produced during his early trips to Tibet, Gao Bo covers the prints in ink, paint and his own blood. Throughout the years, his interventions on the photographs become more and more extreme and close to performance, to the point where the artist can burn a whole series of portraits of prisoners sentenced to death in order to collect the ashes.

Gao Bo’s work has been exhibited at the Three Shadows Photography Art Center in Beijing (2015), Fotofest Houston (2008), PHotoEspaña (2007), the Rencontres d’Arles (2003 and 1989) and the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne (1989). The artist received many distinctions, such as the first prize at the national photography contest in China (1986), the medal of the first edition of the Visa pour l’image festival in Perpignan (1990), or the prize for Most Beautiful Book in the World, awarded by the Deutsche UNESCO-Kommissionin 1998 for the book I. M. Pei Essences.


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