I'm Larry Bao. Residing in Brooklyn, NY. Born in Heilongjiang, China. I've lived most of my life in the Midwest. I'm at the ripe age of 23. Since I can remember, i always wanted to be an actor. A performer. But middle school and high school in the Midwest really destroyed my boyish opinions about the world. I look back at this time of my life as being greatest challenge in finding guidance. I saw conformity as the best option, for the option of individualism was to be cast away from everyone. Pushed away because we are not the same, therefore we do not need to interact. Why would I choose to be put away? I want to be accepted by any society that I am a part of. Wouldn't you? Don't worry, I do not share the same opinions as I do today. I see now individualism standing for intelligence, confidence, and truth. This does not hinder any thoughts on my social placement, as I finally understand that everyone has a place in society. We are humans after all. My decision to move to New York was exactly cause by these feelings. But because of the lack of guidance, it took a really long time for me to understand the meaning of balance and action. I now attend Atlantic Acting School. It was founded by one of my favorite playwrights David Mamet and the actor William H. Macy.
When I was 11 I started skateboarding. Through my skateboarding friends, I started noticing photography. Many of my skateboard friends would film and shoot photos of tricks or of the culture itself. I would see my friends crowd together and look at a photo that had just been shot. Their faces would light up. The face of the photographer, for the creation of the photograph. the face of the skater, for the trick that had been landed. And the face of others, who found joy in the presence of the moment. smiles and high fives all around. I found this quite fulfilling.
I took a photo class in college. Indiana University. I was no good in sciences or math ( though I still find them extremely interesting). I really enjoyed my time taking photographs, but i did not enjoy the art within academia. I never went for a BFA. It felt tainted to me, at that school. So I dropped out. I was very attracted to "created subjects" in photography at first. Cindy Sherman was my favorite. I loved the idea of control. Later on, I became attracted to timing, so came my infatuation with street photography. The way I have taken photos have changed throughout my life, but i would rate content first, shape/geometry second, and contrast third. When I see these things all together, I know I should take a photograph. To me, the most important thing is the moment in time. The idea of letting go this "special" moment, one that will never be seen again, agitated me and I wanted to revolt. I take photographs because I know that moment will be missed. I used to shoot a lot more than I do now. I would go on skate trips with friend across the nation to cities like Chicago, Cincinnati, Phoenix, Miami, to name a few. I found most of my favorite images were capturing moments on these trips. Cartier-Bresson had the idea of waiting for hours for a good photograph. Ah, the decisive moment. I don't have the patience for it, and i find that you could also get a good photograph to come to you. You get in a car with some youthful skateboarders and photos will come! My work usually are corelated with the location that they were shot. I find the environment changes a photo drastically. From deserts to seas, all beautiful to see.
My future projects in photography are never named and known to me. They just come. At this moment I've been working on creating short films and writing plays. I hope that all i've done with photography transcends in someway into my story telling.
Some of my images are manipulated and set up. But some of those "set up" shots, like this one, was out of spontaneous "random" collaboration. My friend, leaning on the edge of the pool, was already there. He didn't know I was taking the photo. But my friend, who's showing his butt, jumped in the pool, pulled his pants down and told me to take a picture. The framing naturally worked and the picture shot itself.
I have friends photos. I always have an urge to take portraits of my friends when I'm surrounded by them. They are beautiful people. There isn't really one specific thing I shoot, but when i go on skate trips, i find 80 percent of my photos are portraits. The Midwest skate culture is really interesting, filled with interesting people. When I have an interesting subject, the picture speaks loud. Who are these people? What do they do? Why do they dress like that? I want people to be curious. Just like meeting some one new for the first time.
This is one of those images where when you see it, you felt like you had to take it. This one feels romantic and innocent to me. Hearing them laugh and cackle made me giggle myself. I've had moments like this and wish for it again. I've always had this nostalgic longing for peace, but you turn your shoulder and remember how messy the world can also be.