JR and His InsideOut Project
The first artist I would like to introduce is JR. His website: http://www.jr-art.net/
A lot of people think JR is a street photographer. And he locates himself as a “photograffeur”, which combine photography and graffiti. I really like his ongoing project called Inside Out, which won the Ted Prize in 2011. It is about individuals’ identities in relation to the cities we are living in. He encourages the public to join this project and take photos of themselves. Everyone can suggest a wall to his team for showing their black and white self-portraits. From the roofs of a little village to the ground of New York Times Square, like what JR said, he really owns the world’s biggest gallery.
What I like about him is his focus on public engagements with art. To always exhibit individual photographs in a regular gallery is not creative. Photography is a way of communication, and he uses his ideas about photography to help people get connected to their communities and cities. As a international student from Beijing, I noticed that this project has never been launched in Beijing. It is such a pity. When I come back to Beijing this summer, I wish I can find a place to show this project and suggest a project plan to his team.