Since 2008, Jo’s art has often focused on the culture of everyday life in China, attempting to capture the more prosaic aspects of everyday life in a period of dramatic economic and social transformation.
“In my works, the act of collecting functions as a mean of capturing a moment in time and creating a personal proximity to my subjects,”offers Jo. “These works reflect my interest in both construction and improvisation, two qualities typically present in my main occupation as product designer. I consider my photographs to be ‘urban still life’ and I use photography to document my experiences and create a personal archive.”
To date, Jo has tended to focus on subjects such as street food vendors, mops and bicycles, seemingly simple themes but one which he argues allow the viewer to read complex social structures.
For the presentation of his work, Jo has shied away from the framed photo or photo book, preferring instead photographic installations or the use of such outdated media as an analog slide show.
In 2008 and 2010, Jo travelled to CHENGDU and CHONGQING to conduct photographic research on the theme “The Street as Kitchen in Szechuan”. Here his focus was on the use of public and private space for cooking activities and the resulting works form the basis of SMALL BUSINESS RECONSTRUCTED. This long-term project was comprised of two elements. For the first, Jo created scale models of 30 different Chinese street kitchens, while for the second, he worked with artist Thomas Wrobel to build a full-scale reconstruction of a Chinese street kitchen for both Leipzig’s Designers Open festival and then, the following year, Milan’s Design Week.
SMALL BUSINESS RECONSTRUCTED
CLEANING IN PROGRESS
PLANKS ON BIKES
You can also view and download a documentation PDF here.