The Eighth Day, 2019

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© Gao Shan

Eight days after he was born, Gao Shan was adopted by a “new” mother. In a quest for identity, he photographed his adoptive mother for several years, mainly in the 70 m2 apartment where they live, in order to explore the connections that have been woven with this new maternal figure, as well as the gaps that separate them. His images are very raw, and alternate between wide shots and close-ups. They reflect the merging and the physical closeness of a mother and son, as well as the coldness, the distance, and occasionally the repulsion of a child towards the parental figure. The book published by the artist won the First Book Award at Paris Photo in 2019.

Lieu: Photoforum Pasquart


Gao Shan (CN), born in 1988 in China, lives and works in Anyang, in China’s Henan province. His first photobook, The Eighth Day, received critical acclaim, winning the New Talent Award in 2016 (which champions young Chinese artists), and the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation award for “First Photobook” in 2019. Most of his work investigates questions of living and surviving.