Justin Guariglia


Visual artists GUARIGLIA + CHEN explore the themes of universal energy, ritual, spirituality, and Eastern philosophies, through video and still photography.

A student in China in the mid 90's, Guariglia took an interest in Daoist and Buddhist philosophies, spending months visiting Buddhist mountains, holy sites, and temples throughout China – from the Silk Road grottoes to the Shaolin Temple. He would remain in Asia for nearly a decade, traveling extensively through nearly sixteen countries, while working on documentary projects throughout the region.

In 2003, Guariglia met Chen, then a designer working for Issey Miyake in Tokyo, Japan, where she was responsible for creating the Paris fashion show collections. Chen arrived at Miyake's studio directly from the graduate master's program in Fashion Design and Knitwear from Central Saint Martin's College in London, graduating with distinction, and having her own runway show in London Fashion Week in 2002. Chen's designs were mostly inspired by intricate geometries and complex knit patterns.

Upon meeting, the two began collaborating on projects together. In 2006, Guariglia and Chen moved to New York to begin preparing for the exhibition and publication of their first major project, Shaolin: Temple of Zen, a project which works closely with the closed society of monks of China's famous Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of Zen Buddhism and Kung Fu. The project is being presented as a book and large internationally touring exhibition by the Aperture Foundation in New York.

The work examines the nature of 'qi', the concept of an elusive universal energy.

Planet Shanghai


Planet Shanghai is a beautiful, funny book – a heartfelt celebration of city style, seen from the ground up. It’s also a valuable work of documentation. Someday those of us who lived in China around the turn of the millennium will look back and wonder if it all really existed: the Playboy loafers and the Darth Vader sun visors, the rubble of doomed neighborhoods and the sheen of new skyscrapers. Justin Guariglia has done a wonderful job of recording a city of quicksilver change and casual chic. -Peter Hessler, Author of River Town, and contributor to The New Yorker



In these images, Justin Guariglia has captured one of the last oases of pure, unaffected Chinese culture. This sumptuous book is a must for anyone whose imagination is captivated by the search for the edge of human boundaries in a distant land. Justin Guariglia's photographs reveal an extraordinary culture dedicated to the pursuit of discipline and excellence--where mind and body are stretched to the extreme. -Edward Burtynsky

Justin Guariglia provides a first - a perceptive look at the real monks of Shaolin Temple, their most inner sanctums, their devotional practice, and their traditional disciplines. He captures portraits of these venerated, compassionate warriors, who have survived the Cultural Revolution and ravenous tourists of modern China, and who stand guard at the very birthplace of the martial arts and Zen. -Gene Ching, Kung Fu Magazine

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