Nocturnal Landscapes in Photography
Greg Girard


David Schalliol interviews Greg Girard


As part of the Nocturnal Landscapes project, photographer and sociologist David Schalliol is leading a series of conversations with photographers who regularly work at night.

The inaugural conversation is with noted Vancouver-based photographer Greg Girard, who has photographed such cities as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Vancouver since the 1970s. As Greg discusses in the interview, much of this work is from personal projects made during an era when he was busy working on magazine features. Still, he was able to carve out time for nuanced work that uses the particular features of the night to reveal such things as the everyday rhythms of the city and the changing global influence of the United States.


Silver Grill Cafe, 6am. 1975. © Greg Girard.


Platform conductor, Ikebukuro Station, 1976. © Greg Girard.


Japan, 1988. © Greg Girard.


#44 Dong Fangbang Lu, 2006. © Greg Girard.


Kitty Hawk and ATM, Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, 2008. © Greg Girard.


This event is part of the ongoing Nocturnal Landscapes: Urban Flows of Global Metropolises initiative. The project provides a comprehensive look at global metropolises at night, combining analysis and observation, questioning the correlation of human activity and light, and revealing hidden aspects of our cities.


This event has been supported by the Barcelona City Council – Institut de Cultura de Barcelona.



Greg Girard is a Canadian photographer who has spent much of his career in Asia. His work examines the social and physical transformations taking place throughout the region. He has published numerous books, including Hanoi Calling, In the Near Distance, Phantom Shanghai, and City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City. His recent book, Tokyo-Yokosuka 1976-1983 completes a loose trilogy of photobooks (along with Under Vancouver 1972-1982 and HK: PM Hong Kong Night Life 1974-1989) that features early work made in the 1970s and 1980s, largely before his professional career began in the late 1980s. | | @gregforaday


David Schalliol is an associate professor of sociology at St. Olaf College who is interested in the relationship between community, social structure, and place. He exhibits widely, including in the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Centre Régional de la Photographie Hauts-de-France, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. His work has been supported by institutions including the Driehaus Foundation, the Graham Foundation, and BPS22 and been featured in publications including MAS Context, The New York Times, and Social Science Research. David is the author of Isolated Building Studies (UTAKATADO) and co-author, with Michael Carriere, of the forthcoming The City Creative (The University of Chicago Press). He rounds out his practice in documentary filmmaking, with contributions to Almost There (ITVS/Kartemquin Films), Cooked: Survival by Zip Code (Kartemquin Films), and Highrise: Out My Window (National Film Board of Canada), an interactive documentary that won an International Digital Emmy for Non-Fiction. His directorial debut, The Area, premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2018. | @metroblossom

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