Shanghai features the mesmerizing images of Canadian photographer Greg Girard, who has been recording momentous changes in Asia since 1983. Largely self-taught, he has had editorial work in Time, Fortune, Wired, the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, National Geographic, Forbes, Elle, Paris Match, and the New York Times newspaper, among other prestigious titles.
Between 1987 and 1997 Girard established himself as a photographer based in Hong Kong. Contact Press Images, an international photojournalism agency in New York, has represented Girard since 1990. In 1993, in collaboration with photographer Ian Lambot, Girard published City of Darkness, a book chronicling the final years of the Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong.
Greg Girard, Huangpi Lu (2008), c-print [Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver BC, May 22-Jun 28]
Since 1998, Girard has focused on Shanghai's building boom and the social and physical transformations of a former way of life. China has spent much of the last decade demolishing millions of old buildings and relocating tens of millions of people. Urban development for profit, suspended by China's Communist government for nearly half a century, has reached a frenzied and unprecedented peak in Shanghai. As Girard puts it, For the past five years I've been photographing the buildings, shops, homes and neighbourhoods that are unlikely to survive Shanghai's vision of its own future.
In 2002 Girard launched the picture agency documentCHINA in collaboration with Fritz Hoffmann. The online archive specializes in contemporary photography from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Girard has lectured and exhibited internationally in Germany, the UK, Asia, and North America. In 2007, his work was the subject of Phantom Shanghai, a monograph with foreword by William Gibson published by The Magenta Foundation.