Q&A: Xinran Gu


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Buddhism, the philosophy of taking and giving. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? When technology is so advanced that today’s necessities (phone, computer…) is evolved into something else. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Yes, plenty. What is it that interests you about photography? Ambiguity. What is the worst thing about city life? Air pollution. What part of the planet would you like to explore? South pole. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. AI. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? When I found out the memory is not reliable on the details. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Volunteer for left-behind children, who lives along in China’s countryside. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. The only portrait of my grandma who passed away years ago before I was born. How often do you take other people’s advice? I give advice more often than taken from somebody else. Describe a personal hell. Smoke. On what occasion do you lie? Well, I can’t remember. Wait…am I lying right now? What was the last crime you witnessed? Thief. What is the best way to educate yourself? Read with open mind and critical thinking. What is the next book you want to read? La revolution transhumaniste, a book about how biotechnology will change our future. Ultimate camera? The ultimate image-making process is from electrical pulses of brain and nerves. Most used camera? Mamiya 7 What object do you want? Clean air. What object do you need? Clean air. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? The thing creates the possibility to reach out to anyone in the world. Describe a cheap thrill. Something I love but I haven’t eaten for a while. The taste of familiarity. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. The fall of Berlin wall. Which talent would you most like to have? I want to learn another language. French or Spanish. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? As usual. Sleep, work and read.

Xinran Gu is a New York City based visual storyteller. She holds a Bachelor degree at the University of Iowa on Journalism and Studio Arts and studied photojournalism at the International Center of Photography. In her work, she finds and constructs narrative of people and place from the historical point of view. See more of Xinran Gu’s work — Website / Instagram.