Gu Tao was born in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia in 1970. When he was a kid, his father was an ethnographer and photographer. His father spent his time and energy documenting the nomadic tribes in the mountains near their home.
Gu graduated from the Inner Mongolia School of Art with a major in oil painting. After that, he moved to Beijing and started living and working as an artist. Gu also worked as a conceptual photographer, doing commercial photography to pay the bills. In 2005, he began following in his father’s footsteps. Gu traveled back to the mountains of his hometown to make documentaries about its original residents, the Evenki people. His documentaries have won many awards globally.
Gu Tao saw a way of life that had been severely limited by governmental intrusion and environmental destruction since the 1970’s. He has thus chosen to focus his films on dying traditions and ways of life. Gu’s works also cover how marginalized groups are adapting to the modern world.
Gu has found his niche as a documentary director. Therefore, he has expanded his focus to include the various tribes and ethnic groups in Northern China and Mongolia.
Evenki reindeer herders, a legendary ethnic minority coming from further northern Siberia three hundred years ago, moved into a government-built settlement in 2003 and was banned from hunting. Would the once familiar forest still belong to them?