Beihua Guo (b. 1998) was born in Shanghai, China. He is an artist based in Los Angeles and a student at Pitzer College. His work has been featured in group exhibitions at Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Somerset House, and Zaragoza Museum, etc. He has also received recognition in Hasselblad Masters, Sony World Photography Awards, and PDN Student Photo Contest, etc. In addition, he has been awarded residencies in Petrified Forest, Lassen Volcanic, and Yellowstone National Park.
His work uses interdisciplinary approaches to address the themes of urban sprawl, environmental injustice, and the changing landscapes of the American West; he strives to use photography to document environmental issues and initiate social changes.
Yellowstone: For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People
Yellowstone was established as the world’s first national park in 1872 “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Although the US National Parks are often regarded as “America’s best idea” and a symbol of democracy, constructions during the formative years of the national parks as well as ongoing waves of development had resulted in the exploitation of indigenous land and natural wonders.
I used my large format camera to document the evidence of anthropocentric ideals, settler colonialism, and the paradox of enjoyment versus preservation in Yellowstone National Park. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the decline in visitation exaggerates the presence of man-made structures—hotels and visitor centers rising up on meadows and hills, roads and bridges carving through mountains and canyons, boardwalks and trails trampling over springs and geysers, artificial light sources impairing the night sky. They are constantly interacting with the ecosystem and could be seen as invasive species that blur the boundaries between human and nature.
To view more of Beihua Guo’s work please visit their website.