We borrow a bit of time with French photographer Marilyn Mugot and her survey of modern China's urban landscape while remembering its ancient past as one of the oldest civilizations in the world. A society full of dichotomies.
Here's her interview with Lomography Magazine.
Hi Marilyn, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Firstly, describe your own version of Chinese city streets.
My work is based on a series of nocturnal photographs of Chinese urbanism. This is a work of lights and colors, making the world in my own way.
Share us your favorite spot to photograph. Which place/s are your most frequented for the best street shoots?
The city of Chongqing was very inspiring for me. It is called the Mountain City which gives it perspectives, angles of view interesting for my frames. This city represented exactly image and transformation of China at present. It's contrast between modernity and tradition.
China's city streets are arguably not as picturesque as the famed architectural landmarks. What made you attracted to the city streets?
What I like to work with is the anachronism of certain urban and traditional landmarks. I like to lose landmarks on pictures. The play between what we imagine a place and what it really is.
How was the experience in strolling around the city? Was there anything notable that you've learned from the place?
It's particular to travel alone and be a woman, spécially when I walked in the streets by night. People are very curious so I drew attention curious and surprised looks. It's difficult to walk totally anonymous with this Chinese' demography, there are many lives outside. It's sometimes difficult to work and take some time taking pictures with this conditions.
You're also a fashion photographer. How do you think being a fashion photographer influenced your way of taking the streets?
In general, I'm interested in many photographic styles. Fashion photography allows me to work a staging and very aesthetic set of pictures, the rules are not the same. In travel, I wanted to work a more personal and less direct photography by including my artistic interests such as light' design and street photography.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Whom are your muses?
The cinema plays a decisive role. I'm passionate about it, I imagine it has a strong influence in my eye and in my work' aesthetics.
If you could work or collaborate with any photographer, who would it be?
It's difficult to answer this question because the term "collaboration" doesn't really apply on a photographic project, and then I don't see the necessity. If the photographer has an idea on a specific subject it's not really necessary to make a collaboration in this case, or well it's not obvious for me.
If you could go to any place in the universe right now and photograph it, where would that exactly be?
I would like to go again in California to work new subject more focus on natural landscapes. Adapt my personal touch with specific landscapes of west and south USA.
What do you usually do during your downtime? Any on-going project, or other plans you're keen to work on?
Between my photographic projects, I work on more commercial projects that touch fashion and I sometimes juggle with odd jobs. In the future, I want to make videos and orient myself towards the realization of clips and alternative short movies.