Guo Yingguang

Yingguang Guo Born 1983, Shenyang, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China.


The Bliss of Conformity

For her project The Bliss of Conformity, Chinese artist Yingguang Guo presents a combination of documentary film and photographs, pieces of “evidence” and impressionistic images made in response to a very specific use of a public site.



Every weekend, the People’s Park in Shanghai is busy with parents trying to find an ideal spouse for their sons or daughters. They walk around looking at ads specifying the gender, age, height, qualifications and income of the hopeful matches. Surprisingly, except for the public entertainment and educational activities organised in the city, this “marriage market” has become its only authorised and autonomous public gathering.



Yingguang Guo’s work, within which she presents herself as a hopeful spouse in the park, highlights the huge pressure the institution of marriage places on families in Chinese society, a cultural tradition evoked by the presence of a red thread (a symbol of marriage in China) throughout the project and notably in the artist’s book. By slipping factual descriptions or commentaries tinged with irony between certain images, Yingguang Guo subtly highlights the confrontation between the apparent brutality and relative archaism of arranged marriages (in much Western thinking) and the dreams of love and free marriage that are increasingly attractive to a younger generation of Chinese people who, like Yingguang Guo, have experienced life abroad.