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Dorian François | Solitudes

Beijing, China – january 2014
[T]his is my new long-term project, a will to look at the different definitions of solitude.
The solitude that people can suffer from, such as isolation loneliness or imprisonment; but also the solitude that can be willingly chosen and seen as a refuge. The solitude that I see in others, and the solitude that I will experience while making this project. This work will be on for several years, through different countries, in both rural and urban environments.
The first chapter is in China.

As a European, I grew up in a less populated area than China and in smaller urban environment. At first, I was struck by the immensity and the diversity of the cities in China, i felt disconnected from them. Its scale, its pollution, its social inequalities, I was in kind of a shock and felt physically dominated by this gigantic urban world.
Although, I can’t help being drawn towards the country, its culture and its inhabitants. Therefore, it is indeed out of curiosity and a need to understand that I started this project. Going there to try to find a relationship with the cities.

I will be going to ten cities spread throughout China, spend a week in each of them and travel only by train.

The photos I hereby present are the very beginning of this story, they were taken in early 2014 in Beijing, Lanzhou and Urumqi.

Lanzhou, China – may 2014
Urumqi, China – may 2014
Beijing, China – january 2014
Urumqi, China – may 2014
Beijing, China – january 2014
Lanzhou, China – may 2014
Lanzhou, China – may 2014
Train to Beijing, China – may 2014
Lanzhou, China – may 2014
Lanzhou, China – may 2014
Beijing, China – january 2014

Q&A with Dorian François

Photography is…

A chance to understand myself and the world ; it is hard work and a cheerful excuse to live.

Photography and writing…

To combine these two is my actual biggest artistic challenge. Two different tools that have a lot to learn from each other.

Who left the biggest impression on you?

The Cinema. How movies constantly enrich my look and my curiosity on humanity.
As for photography, my influences and my tastes are various, since what strikes me the most is the ability to express one’s intimacy.

Tell us a little about yourself

For the last ten years, my strong desire to travel became firmly linked with a need to share my stories visually. I work on long term projects, such as this new thematic work on « solitudes », willing to share sincere stories where time is a main composant.

Dorian_Francois_AutoportraitDorian François has traveled widely in Asia – India first, where he lived for a year on Majuli Island, the world’s largest river island in Assam, threatened to disappear due to the monsoon and constant erosion. Mongolia then for five years, looking at the rising urban life in Ulan Bator. Dorian’s strong desire to travel has become firmly linked with a need to share his stories visually. He works on long term projects, willing to share sincere stories where time is a main component.

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