Stefano Cerio Explores China’s Abandoned Fun Parks
What do you spend your days doing?
In a digital era, when all people shoot photos continually, for me it’s very important to study. So I spend a lot of time with art books and aesthetics theory.
Where do you live and what do you love about it?
I live between Rome and Paris. I love Rome because it is my birth town and it’s very relaxing, but for the contemporary idea of life it’s too classic. In this sense I prefer Paris.
How did the idea for this series come about?
I love the difference between full and empty, this difference in China is huge and this is the first stimulus.
How long have you worked on it?
About six months.
How did you find the fun parks to shoot?
With the help of my Chinese assistant and the Internet.
How long were you in China for?
I spent four months over there for this project.
Do you like fun park rides?
I don’t like fun parks, generally I am not interested as an artist in the things that I like as a person.
Which photo has the best story attached to it?
The cover photo of the big fruit was completely random. I was travelling near the Great Wall when I met this plastic basket that was four metres tall. It is a playground but also a sign of a zone for the fruit production. Sometimes you find the best places when it’s not expected.
What is it about empty spaces or the idea of absence that intrigues you?
I like to take photos of the people that are not there; I call them “portraits of the absence”. I think there is a sort of reflection when all is empty, particularly in places where, a few hours before, there were millions of people.
Do you hate crowds?
No, but my idea of amusement is very linked to the concept of peace and quiet.
What do you hope your images stir in people?
It is not important that it is the same thing I want to communicate. For me the interpretation of art must not to be uni-vocal.
What’s your favourite shot from the series?
The Rose Rabbit one. This crazy architecture is in strong contrast with the washed out light of Beijing and with the pollution that is everywhere in China.
When you’re not taking photos, what do you like to do?
Motorbike riding, sailing, and reading.
What are you working on at the moment?
A new book on the dark side of amusement. Some parks in the night light with my own light.
See more at cerio.it. His book Chinese Fun is out now.