美术学院

Academy of Arts & Design

Feng Jianguo

Associate Professor

Deputy Director,  Department of Information Art & Design of the Academy Art & Design, Tsinghua University, Supervisor of master’s degree students

Email Address: fengjg@263.net

Research Field:

Applied research on photography creation and theory

Research Direction:

1、The theoretical and applied research on large format photography

2、The theoretical and applied research on the process of making prints of high quality, and permanent conservation of gelatin silver prints

Academic View:

Though falling into the category of formative arts, the photographic art with its unique means of artistic creation is fundamentally different from other formative arts such as painting and sculpture. Every beautiful photographic works with profound artistic conception is photographer’s artistic creation that condenses the visual reality onto the photosensitive materials such as film and photographic paper by employing camera and photosensitive materials and photographic techniques and skills by photographer. In recent years, along with the rapid development of science and technology, the traditional mechanical cameras and photosensitive materials are gradually replaced by electronic cameras and digital imaging materials, signifying the coming of a new age of the techniques for photography. These innovations in photographic techniques demonstrate that photography is the image media that combines technical innovations and artistic expression, traditional and contemporary elements. In the 170 years of the development history of photographic techniques, many important technical innovations have been made. Nowadays, many photographers discuss whether the traditional means or digital means or the blending means should be used to produce photographic works. This methodological debate does not materially change and affect the nature, properties and connotations of photography. Though the method and techniques employed may vary, the aim of photography remains unchanged, that is, to create picture, reflect idea and express feelings in the heart through the use of light and shade, the option of composition and view finding, and the creation of tone. It is of significance for us to explore and study whether we should be back to use classical photographic techniques, or fully exploit the potential of gelatin silver prints, or produce works by using the wholly new digital technology.

Academic Achievements:

Since 2000, Professor Feng has published the photographic works, academic papers, articles on photographic theory and techniques, and essays of  about 300 thousand words in many high-level Chinese and foreign magazines and journals, including Chinese tier-1 magazines such as Chinese Photography, Popular Photography, Chinese Photographers, China Pictorial, Tibetan Human Geography, DEEP China Science Adventure, and Green China, USA’s view Camera,  Japan’s Nippon Photography and Nikon Club, South Korea’s Photonet, and Taiwan’s the World of Photography. Professor Feng has published five books and one translated book, including: Learning Photography from Ansel Adams (monograph book, 2003), Black-and-white Photography (textbook, 2005), Large Format Photography (textbook, 2007), Vision of The West: 1996-2006 (collection of photo works, 2007), The Last Hutong (collection of photo works, 2008), and Ansel Adams:400 Photographs (translated works, 2009).

Feng’s academic papers and photographic works have won international and domestic awards for many times. In August 2000, Feng’s paper entitled the Display and Collection of Photographic Works won the award for distinguished paper at the 6th National Seminar on Photography Theory. In September 2000, Feng’s works entitled Mother and Children in Plateau won the award for distinguished works at the international photography contest for 1999-2000 organized by UNEP. In March 2001, Feng’s works entitled Pearl Shoal Waterfall in Jiuzhaigou won the second prize at the sixth National Contest for Black-and-white Artistic Photograph of Beautiful China. In June 2001, Feng’s works entitled Viewers of Great Dharma Assembly in Gannan won the grand prize at the Ilford National Contest for Black-and-white Photography. In September 2004, Feng’s works entitled Folk Houses in South Anhui-the World Cultural Heritage won the award for the best photographic works of the world heritages in China at the 21st National Exhibition of Photographic Works. In the same month, Feng’s works entitled Heaven• Tibet won the third prize for artistic photography at the 21st National Exhibition of Photographic Works.  In December 2005, Feng was awarded the honorary title of the Epson Image Ambassador for 2005-2006 by Epson (China) Co., Ltd. In 2006, at the Conference for celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chinese Photographers Association, Feng was awarded the honorary title of the Photographer with outstanding achievements and contributions since the founding of New China by Chinese Photographers Association.

Over the past 10 years, Feng has devoted to the creation of photographic works. He had come to Xinjiang for six times, to Tibet for nine times, and to Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai for several times. He has traveled through the whole regions in west China. He is renowned for his black-and-white photo works portraying west China and is devoted to showing the appearance and spirit if the land and people in west China by his photo works. 23 exhibitions of Feng’s photo works and 10 joint exhibitions with other photographers have been held in the museums of fine arts and galleries in USA, Japan, South Korea, Taibei, Beijing, and Shanghai.

Moreover, Professor Feng had been invited to give special lectures on photography and hold personal photographic works exhibitions in the Art College of Chung-Ang University (South Korea), the Art College of Sangmyung University(South Korea), Central Academy of Fine Arts, Peking University, and Tsinghua University, making positive contributions to the international exchange between China and other countries and the academic exchange between the Chinese and foreign institutions of higher education.

Teaching Tasks:

1. Large format Photography

The large format refers to the large photographic films, large cameras and processes that use a film or digital sensor, generally 4 x 5 inches or larger. Compared with medium- and small-sized cameras, the large format cameras have the unique function of shift adjustment, enabling the manual control of the definition range and perspective effect of photo images. This course aims to enable the students majoring in photography to have an overall understanding and grasp of the techniques and art of large format photography. This course focuses on making the students have a deeper understanding of the nature of the techniques and art of large format photography through the analysis and study of the Chinese and foreign classical large format photographic works. In additional to teaching theoretical knowledge, this course also concentrates on training and cultivating students’ capabilities to overall grasp the techniques and art of large format photography, so as to lay a solid foundation for their future career of artistic creation, practice of  advertising photography, and theoretical research.

2. Commercial Photography

This course aims to enable the students to have an overall understanding of the fundamentals of print advertising photography and the basic work process of commercial photography including the preparatory work at earlier stage, the effective communications with the customers, how to submit the photography proposal to the customers including preparing creative scene drawings, setting the cycle of photographic work and reasonable budget, and preparing the relevant documents such as photography contract and letter of authorization for model, the lighting techniques and skills in the photographic process, the image processing and output at the post-production sage, and submitting the final works to the customers.

This course focuses on giving lectures on the several key topics on commercial photography by analyzing the visual expression of the advertising themes and applying the image quality control theory for commercial photography, aiming to enable the students to grasp these key topics through practice and meet the society’s demand for commercial photography.

3. High Quality Techniques for Black & White Photography

The main topics covered by this course include: photographic works and quality management, principles of tone copying and application in black and white photography, selection of black-and white film, techniques for black-and-white film processing, selection of black-and white photographic paper, techniques for enlarging black-and-white photos, theory and application of Ansel Adams’ Zone System, and treatment of black-and-white photos for permanent conservation.