Tim Gao: Invisible Theatre

Tim Gao is a freelance photographer from Shanghai, China. He has been persistently shooting Shanghai street photography since 2012, being influenced by photographers such as Daido Moriyama, Nobuyoshi Araki, Diane Arbus, Josef Koudelka, Marc Riboud, Takuma Nakahira and Issei Suda, among others. His work shows the exquisite craftsmanship needed to obtain street photography, especially with film cameras.

Invisible Theatre: Street photography is not just a sharp triggering of the shutter to shape the outside world in the form of light and shadow. It is simultaneously a curious observation and emotional perception of what’s happening in the ordinary streets at any moment when unpredictable dramas and realities are actually taking place.

As for Shanghai, I have lived here for over 9 years. I always try to explore the urban city and residential lanes that are hidden and unknown to me, and contemplate my emotional attachment to the city.

Street photography not only enables me to create a documentary view of the unique Shanghai street and the culture behind it, but also reveals the extraordinary and metaphorical aspect of Shanghai’s invisible theatre of mystery, drama and nostalgia.

When I was walking the streets I tried to capture the ephemeral and dramatic realities and reconstruct them into a new and multilayered world for the paradise of my lost memories.

View more of Tim Gao’s photographic works on his website.