the bliss of conformity
CURATED BY HE YINING
The Bliss of Conformity is a photography-based mixed-media series that combines elements of video, installation and the artist's book. In this work, Guo Yingguang explores arranged marriages in China and the emotionally-distant coexistence between arranged couples from both abstract and concrete viewpoints. Starting from her own individual experience and the contemporary social experience at large, Guo Yingguang combines documentary photography and creative artistic practices to create carefully constructed, highly contrasted visual structures that challenge stereotypical notions of women in a complex socio-cultural consciousness.
In response to her continued re ections on gender differences, Guo Yingguang chooses the matchmaking corner in People's Park, Shanghai as her main creation field. In addition to photographing daily scenes and details of personal ads at the matchmaking corner, she also records her own experience with matchmaking through performance acts. In contrast to documentary photography, Guo uses photo-etching techniques to create a series of abstract images that reveal the turbulent truths of arranged marriages beneath the seemingly calm surface depicted by peaceful images of the park, such as traditional intergenerational relationships and views of marriage, as well as discrimination against the so-called “left-over women”. At the same time, Guo's artist's book is created in a global context, aiming to construct multi-layered interconnections between time and space and to express emotions through compositional arrangements. By the use of these artistic practices, the artist is able to explore the problems faced by educated women as individuals in the reality of the contemporary Chinese society, revealing a feminist's conflicting standpoint under the influences of traditional ethics, politico- economic social transitions and individual life experiences.