#photography the online photography magazine
2015 curated by genea bailey & daisy ware-jarrett
inside this issue... Bryan M. Ferguson
Ilka & Franz
W F Moore
Cole Michael Carter
Interview: Alexis Clerc
On the cover
Bryan M. Ferguson ‘CHROMOPHOBIAC’
I’m a filmmaker and photographer from Glasgow, Scotland. My work is offbeat and considered afflicting to chromophobiacs. My fascination with the eccentricities of human behaviour can regularly be found in my work. We’re a generation of perverts and my images are a hole cut for eager eyes. The images explore odd moments and behaviours dominated by colour and have an implicitly dark or surrealistic quality to them. I like oddities being in plain sight, that way people can’t un-see them. Having the images bright and colourful is just my way of removing the viewers eyelids.
Ilka & Franz ‘diptychs’
We are an Austrian/German photographer duo based in London (UK). We are interested in quirky and minimalist conceptual work involving people, objects and sometimes animals. Weâ€™ve developed an interest in combining our portrait work with still life elements. Our work with people is very precise and highly directed so we saw parallels to how we could work with objects. The result is a series of pairings of portraits with props and still lifes of those props.
W F Moore ‘Wild wild West Midlands’
I’m a photographer from the West Midlands, England and I like to photograph with an informal and documentary style, focusing on the smaller lesser known groups of people and communities. This ongoing project focuses primarily on the UK’s relationship with firearms. More importantly, looking at the airsoft culture within the UK, the people that partake in skirmishes, recreational battles and the controversy around these iconic replicas.
‘Share Your Air’
Model : Ilaria Pozzi / Bulgaria,Sofia 20
I have always loved photography as art, but at first I started drawing and was also was a model. I have studied at the Art Academy as a window-dresser. Later in 2007 I discovered photography as a means to express myself and completely replaced painting. My photographs are not exactly photographs, my creations are somewhere in between paintings and photography. In my images I use pain as beauty, erotic as a psychological way of life. I express myself and my intimate inner life. In my photographs you can find beauty and a strong will for life, sorrow, pain, love and eroticism as a constant part of our lifeâ€Ś I would love to connect all those feelings. For me that is the only way to know the sweetness to be alive, to know the happiness and become part of the beauty of life.
Fedor Shklyaruk â€˜On Aetherâ€™ I am a photographer from Moscow. My main area of research is interactions between landscape and history, the memories and visual investigation through the field of photography. The aether is total, but impalpable; it is invisible, but eternal; and finally it carries the light. Ancient philosophers believed that the aether is the fifth element, absolute and divine. Chemical transformations take place due to it and also the sky is such as it is.
Cole Michael Carter
Some would describe me as a wallflower, or a spectator, but I would describe myself as an observer of overlooked subjects. Whether I recreate moments from the cloudiness of my consciousness, or locate unusual subjects in chaotic contexts, I arrange my compositions like a intricate jigsaw puzzle. My photographs emphasize texture, line and flatness, in an aim to decontextualise arbitrary objects into something new.
Review: ‘Birgit’s Garden’ Photo Book by Eija Makivuoti
Written by Natasha Dos Santos
Described as “one of the last, untouched paradises on earth,” Birgit’s Garden takes us on a journey to the Faroe Islands as viewed through the lens of Eija Makivuoti’s camera. A photographic artist specializing in the documentation of performance, people and places Eija celebrates both the country and culture all encompassed within the pages of her most recent art photography book. Spanning a total of six years the photo documentary project and self-styled travelogue beautifully entwines photographs with story. Presenting itself as an unfolding conversation between Eija and the proud Faroese people, bounteous amounts of wanderlust can eagerly be anticipated with the turn of each page and through every tale given voice. In amidst the unforgiving Atlantic Ocean lies
a coastline and community that you can’t but help fall for and Birgit’s Garden, filled with friendships from cover to cover, aids us in doing so. Not just scratching at the surface, through Eija’s total immersion into her newfound surroundings with newfound friends, we too can, if only momentarily, transport ourselves to a hidden, un-spoilt land beneath moody skies and bordered by unforgiving deep blue seas. It is these atmospheric landscapes that you’ll see peppering pages and placed in contrast alongside striking portraiture both intimate and candid. However, just like on the Faroe Islands themselves, it is the importance placed upon music that bares just as much weight within the book as it does to the Faroese people and Birgit’s Garden observes this as well as all the delicate but extraordinary moments in between.
What was it about the Faroe Islands that initially drew you to them?
When visiting the islands for the first time in 2008 I walked the streets of Tórshavn and I got the feeling that I had ended up in a place I belong to. This feeling is hard to explain, at the same time it felt intriguing and soothing. I had to find out why I felt like that. This was before I actually knew anyone. I am sure it also had to do with the feeling which I had gotten via the music by the Faroese metal band Týr and at a Faroese cultural evening arranged by the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands during the first travel there – it was a mix of something unexplainable and powerful.
Describing the Faroe Islands as “a hidden place no one happens upon by chance,” when and how did you first come to encounter them yourself?
My first knowledge of a place called the Faroe Islands came through the music of Týr. The first Faroese person whom I met was a lady called Urd Johannessen. She told me more about Faroese metal music, about a band called SIC and got me in touch with them... Urd has been helping me out through the years, so she has a very important role in making all of this happen. I travelled to the Faroe Islands for the first time in April 2008 in connection to my work at the Nordic Culture Point.
A travelogue of sorts, Birgit’s Garden shares the stories of the people who feature; would you agree that in a way the book serves as almost a collaboration between yourself and those who became your subjects?
Yes, it is a collaboration – this kind of “project” you do not make alone. I would though call it something more than just plain work or a project – I was taken in as one of them and we got to know each other. It has always been more than work for me, it goes beyond that. It is more like sharing your life with others and they become like your own family. I as an artist can then of course use these encounters and experiences to filter something – stories – from all that. As a documentary photographer I also can see the limits of only one perspective to a subject.
I’m sure it was important to you to accurately represent the community and culture you encountered; do you feel you achieved this in Birgit’s Garden?
I tried to make it as I have experienced it. Portray the stories and the people with honesty – so trying not to exploit them in any way or to make it too romantic or exotic. The entire book st is a ballad made with love and with respect. The publisher, Sprotin, told me that this is a different kind of photo book made about the Faroe Islands, as it is so “Faroese” – ordinary things they would probably not thought of themselves to put in a book. I think this is the best praise I could have gotten. Others have told me that: “it is exactly how it is here”. So I guess I managed to portray a part of the Faroe Islands as it is. The part I gotten to know.
Having spent so much time in the Faroe Islands, how do you feel towards the country and its people? Has it become like a second home?
Yes it has. I have friends who ask me when I will come home. A part of me became (or was already) a bit Faroese. I think many of the Faroese people I got to know are like my own family and I miss them a great deal when not being around them. To me it is a place where people still acknowledge that family and other people are dependent on each other and honour that. It is a community who also has reverence towards the nature surrounding them and pride in their own culture (as it is of course changing but not in away that you become something else but just fusion new influences with your own culture). As a Finnish person I feel a bit stranded in “my own” culture which has become so estranged from its own past – I think people in Finland are already reacting to the overpowering flood of American culture on us and getting back to finding about our own roots and origin (whatever it is). When you know about that and start respecting that, you are more open to others, as you know yourself better, I think. This journey became a bit deeper than I could have imagined.
Full interview is available on www.hashtagphotomag.tumblr.com More of Eija’s work and information on Birgit’s Garden can be seen on www.eijamakivuoti.net
Dana Stirling â€˜Cacheâ€™ My family roots back to Europe, but I was born in Israel. I was a child on a fence; a daughter to a migrating family. I always felt a misfit with my partial incomplete identity. Over the years I have heard my parents stories, happier days. The stories held on to time and culture that I wasnâ€™t a part of, portraits of family members that remained anonymous to. These stories were supposed to be my heritage. I started not only looking for my identity in these old photos but also started reflecting my feelings from these photos onto the world around me. I look for Moments and objects where there is a tension that is created by incomplete aesthetic.
FAKEDCANDID ‘Paint Job’
A juxtaposition between spirit and matter, visual pleasure and practical assessment, business and aesthetics, this is the force that moves FAKEDCANDID, the Singapore based visual arts duo that takes pleasure in combining their different trainings and same instinctive interest in their work, to give birth to real, marketable art direction. “Paint Job” is a series of fashion-fused still-life images, illustrating the cynical side of a painter’s job. The story is told in a surreal tone, through the peculiar tools and arrangement of objects to reveal just a pinch of the painter’s existence. Within the unsuspecting bright colours lies the depictions of the painter being suffocated, squashed, knocked down and wounded - willingly or not.
Hélène Veilleux ‘Kazakhstanoscopia’
My pictures are part of an attempt to question the real, exploring the concept of “Zone”, these spaces, whether real or fictional, where what we take for granted is a little less, where certainties crumble giving way to something… other. Far from the industrious Astana, the Kazakhstan, a utopia in equilibrium between Asia and Europe?
Vivienne Mok I am a self-taught photographer and through my work I have found a way to freely express myself, pursue my search for beauty and create my own world. I would describe my work as personal, dreamy, soft, atmospheric, romantic and feminine. These images have been selected from my portfolio. These are timeless pictures of girls in an intimate, peaceful, boudoir-like environment. I hope that the viewer imagines a story when looking at these images.
Jamie Hladky ‘Bukit Panjang’
Originally from Manchester UK, I’ve been lucky enough to travel fairly widely. Living overseas for so long means developing new visual understandings, I try to do this through exploration and photography. I’m currently based in Australia, spending my time seeing as much of this huge strange country as possible. The families living in Singapore’s HDB flats occupy space hundreds of times more densely filled than is typical in Australia. Every space is carefully and tightly filled. The concrete forms of the residential towers have an oppressive linear geometry, pulling you through endless interconnected passages, voids, stairwells and walkways.
Sophie Harris-Taylor ‘First Position’ 56
Working primarily as a portraitist, I have a desire to examine, scrutinize and document – with recurring themes examining our perception of the physical form and natural decay, whilst I often reflect on moments of familiarity, vulnerability and ennui. I exclusively use natural light for its depth and honesty. ‘First Position’ portrays young male ballet dancers minutes before an important audition. Their strength (physical and mental) and commitment are unusual to see in boys of this age these moments are when they are at their most exposed and I have tried to capture this rare glimpse of fragility.
Founded by British Photographers Carole Evans and James O Jenkins and now in its fifth year, the Portrait Salon offers a second chance for the rejected portraits of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in their very own competition. Self-described as an active ‘salon des refuses’ – an exhibition of works rejected from a juried art show – for the first time they’ll be putting on display the “best of the rest” in an exhibition that celebrates one print from every photographer who, on the basis of having entered and then been rejected by the much coveted annual portrait competition run by the National Portrait Gallery, enters. I had the opportunity to catch up with the Portrait Salon founders, Carole and James.
As photographers yourselves, did you enter the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize run by the National Portrait Gallery and, like many others, come face to face with a rejection from the prestigious annual competition?
Yes - In 2011, after receiving a rejection letter from the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, I was watching many photographers moan on Twitter that they hadn’t got in. I put out a suggestion that we should form a salon des refuses; James then direct messaged me to say that he thought it was a great idea and that we should meet and discuss it.
If so, was this a defining moment sparking the creation of the Portrait Salon?
Indeed! Once we met, we decided it wouldn’t hurt to give it a go, as long as it didn’t cost us any money. We began very lo-fi with a hotmail address, a tumblr blog and some photocopied flyers; with the power of social media it grew.
By showing another selection, we are showing a broader range of what photographers are doing at the moment.
You describe the competition as a form of ‘Salon des Refuses’ meaning ‘an exhibition of works rejected from a juried art show’, do you see yourselves as saviors of sorts for all the portraits, that having not quite made it, from going unseen?
Looking back to 2011 when the Portrait Salon was founded how did you go about the task of giving life to your idea? Were you ever overwhelmed by the responsibility of it? I think we were always quite philosophical. If we tried it and no one liked it, or no one submitted work, that was that and it was no skin off our nose. I don’t think either of us expected it to be as popular as it has become.
Although you define the Portrait Salon as a “response” to the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, some might say you are also challenging the way we view contemporary portraiture too. Would you agree with this? When we began, the Taylor Wessing was getting a lot of stick from photographers that they always showed the same sort of portrait. It was the third year running a portrait of a redhead featuring some sort of animal had won. I personally had the feeling there was always the same sort of portraits featured in the show; so we did want to challenge that. The Taylor Wessing is a benchmark of contemporary portraiture, but how reliable is it?
It is clear you have garnered ongoing praise and support since the construction of the Portrait Salon, but have you received any negative attention from those who are opposed by your idea to show the ‘best of the rest’? And how do you deal with such a response? Souvid Datta
I’m not sure we’re saviors; I feel uncomfortable using that word! But we do give exposure to portraits, which would normally just go back to their photographer’s archive. So perhaps that is what we are!
At the beginning we did get negative attention; we were accused of “sour grapes”. But as people realized we are serious about what we do, and that we weren’t just a couple of scorned photographers, that has dissipated. We also got criticized for making a selection from our submissions rather than showing everything; but we were adamant that, at the beginning, we wanted to be a good quality exhibition, not just a jumble of stuff. Also the original Salon des Refuses was selected, so we were keeping to tradition.
For the first time, you will be exhibiting one print from every photographer that submitted and was rejected by the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Why did you decide to do this?
I think people are really intrigued with the type of portraits, which don’t get in. So far, Portrait Salon has been curated, and so the selections have been really strong; and I think people want to see the stuff, which people submit and don’t get accepted. We thought it would be a good way of celebrating our fifth birthday; also, we This year, we’ve chosen to show the all have a loyal following of photographers who ensubmissions we receive; we’ve had no ter us each year, and it’s a way of sort of saying negative feedback as yet, but it’s early days! thank you to them, too.
“The Taylor Wessing is a benchmark of contemporary portraiture, but how reliable is it?”
The act of judging often comes down to simple subjectivity, do you feel this presents a flaw in the process of photographic competition and is the Portrait Salon, in a way, a comment on this? Yes, Portrait Salon does comment on that as we are getting different judges to judge the same pictures. Competitions are subjective but I think photographers forget that, and become personally affronted if they don’t get in. What we’ve seen by working with judges over the last few years is that their view can change day-to-day; it’s not necessarily who is judging but loads of other things too.
Am I also correct in thinking that this year there will be three winners selected by a general public vote conducted by the visitors of the exhibition itself? Yes! We will be having a Public’s Choice award. Prizes are offered by our sponsors; a days’ retouching with Stanley’s Post, a bespoke lab session with Metro Imaging, a professional development session with Lucid Rep and a portfolio review with Emma Taylor from Creative Advice Network.
Now in your 5th year, how long do you hope to continue providing a platform for the ‘rejects’ of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize? What does the future hold for The Portrait Salon and do you have any further plans to expand the competition?
The flaw with Taylor Wessing has been that, out of the six judges, two have always been there We have spoken about the future but we’d rathand it’s my view that they’ve dictated the look of er not disclose any plans yet! We take each year the show. This year will be different as those two as it comes... people are no longer there; it will be interesting to see if the exhibition has changed in any way. Portrait Salon makes a point of have different judges each year so that we don’t have a certain “look”.
I like capturing honest and candid moments. I use photography as a way to express myself in ways I can’t with words. I’ve done this since I was 14 years old. I don’t have the story of my dad giving me a camera when I was younger. This is my most honest form. ‘Suburbia Park’ is supposed to represent summer. I went to a park with my friends and shot these honest photos. You’re never too old to play at a park with your friends. Except all my friends are dead.
Thomas Bergner ‘Antalya’
I was born in Nuremberg / Germany. Since 2010 Iâ€™ve been studying at the Academy of fine Arts Nuremberg. My work is mostly based on documentary photography. Antalya is well known as an touristic melting pot. It seems that hotels, restaurants and touristic places are growing from one day to the other. But how is life for the local people that have to live in the suburbs outside of Downtown-Antalya?
‘Our nature (manmade landscape)’
I am a film industry professional developing a fine art photography practice. My main field of interest is the notion of language in photography, I enjoy when the photographic act has something to say, beyond the notion of capture. My work revolves mainly around landscape and architecture. I have a fascination with humans attempts to imitate nature. This attempt shows our desire for a connection with nature, but also our need to control it, to create a copy, an appropriation. Often times this copy has a naive touch in its inability to capture the randomness of life.
Please Sit By Dewald Botha An empty blue sofa sits on top the dirty roof of a high‐rise building, with a unidentifiable, water‐damaged piece of furniture that doubles as a coffee table. A busy city skyline covered in grey mist disappears into the background. It’s a quiet, empty and movement‐less scene, and there are no people. It’s looks like a post‐apocalyptic scene straight out of the movies. Where is this? More importantly, when is this? Is this the future? This immediately arresting image is the front cover of photographer Dewald Botha’s book Please Sit. On the back cover is some information ‐ Please Sit is a collection of sofas and chairs seen in and around the Jiangsu province, China. It’s an intriguingly different glimpse into contemporary China; we are constantly bombarded with images and news of the pollution, the environment, the business, the masses and the mysteries that surround China. From a western perspective, china is dirty, busy, rude, too many people and too much unknown.
Please Sit veers away from these common topics, and looks at the culture of Chinese hospitality. “The Chinese are some of the most hospitable people I know ‐ an invitation to sit down always goes with a cup of steaming green tea, and is most often followed by “Have you eaten?” as a way of warmly greeting you...”. It’s a beautifully simple approach to a beautifully simple gesture that reveals an aspect of China and the Chinese that we never really see. We rarely see the small things, and this is what makes Please Sit so wonderful and so intriguing. There are rare glimpses of human existence in this book. A recently steamed shirt hangs swaying in a tree; a tea bottle is set gently beside a sofa; a ghostly reflection of the photographer is revealed in a glass window. We’re often subject to images, news or footage of how busy China is, how many people live there, but this series almost completely takes that away. There is so little evidence of human existence that it could be a series about the post‐apocalyptic world. Indeed, the state of
disrepair of so many of the seats and in some images, the landscape and environment itself, only suggest this further. Perhaps it’s also the fact that all the seats are empty. It’s a lonely, and slightly ominous atmosphere. Are we looking into the future? When there’s nothing left but the seats that people used to sit on? This feeling is truly concluded in one of the final images; a pile of purple velvet sofas in varying states of disrepair and decay have been thrust upon each other, laid to rest as if they were the dead. Due to impracticality, we were unable to review the original hardback custom‐made book which is hugely unfortunate. Botha graciously sent us a personal copy from Blurb, however it just does not do the work justice at all. Botha describes his original copy as “custom printed for me by a printer in Suzhou (China)... the custom print allowed me to have the cover printed on fabric, and then wrapped as the cover ‐ a reference to the fabric of the sofas.” While the concept seems quite literal, it’s fitting in its simplicity, and I can imagine that the tactile effect
of the fabric image is quite beautiful. The ongoing project which currently has 3 years of work behind it is one to look at and keep an eye on. In today’s contemporary photographic world, and especially in the media, it’s the smaller things and the simple things that get passed over and forgotten. However, it’s these things that form the basis of the foundations of entire cultures and countries. Botha’s Please Sit does a great job of revealing one of these simple traditions in a country that, by all accounts, has still not and likely never will be, fully discovered.
I like to explore different characters and personalities, even the ones who are considered to be “out of norm”. I am curious about how body and mind connects within an individual and also try to express this through my photography as I believe that this is a topic which can never be fully discovered and hides great potentials within it. “Now when the world where we live has coarsen our hearts and made them insensitive to the manifestations of depravity and debauchery, sometimes it is useful for us to look at things which are the embodiment of evil and yet able to awake our obedient conscience from the deep sleep of indifference, conscience which is very similar to the dough”. These words, from the famous novel of Thomas Harris “Hannibal”, inspired the collection of Ukrainian designer Lara Quint for the FW15/16.
Model: Mira Marchuk Clothes/designer: Lara Quint Print artist: Ashkan Honarvar Assistant: Roman Vakulikov
I am Kathryn Younger and live near London. I capture photographs whilst studying for a degree in Fashion Promotion and Imaging. My trip to Hong Kong was a complete accident. My family and I were flying back to England after visiting the Philippines and due to having a cold-like illness I was told I was not allowed to fly for a week. Whilst I may have missed my results day I had the
opportunity to witness another part of the world. Everything was built upwards and so when we checked into a hotel and dared to peek out the window from a high up floor you were faced with other sky scraping buildings. To make the most of these views we visited several viewpoints.
‘Enclosed : Living Small’
Iâ€™m a fine art photographer currently based in Brooklyn. My work often explores (but not limited to) hidden spaces/architectural shapes and patterns in the mundane. I often imagine what digital technology could do for fine art photography in the future. This is a portrait series of residents staying in a guesthouse in Japan. In each case, the sharply-defined space and its contents tell something about its occupantâ€™s personality, and his or her ability to function in such a strange, enclosed environment.
Weronika Saran ‘Shades of Loneliness’
I’m a 20 years old Polish-born photographer, currently based in Coventry, United Kingdom. In 2013, I won the all – Poland contest organised by The EFC Foundation for the best screenplay. Whilst watching films I try to figure out how feelings of the characters could be depicted in still images. Shades of Loneliness was inspired by ‘The Edge of Heaven’ by Fatih Akin. I wanted to depict the feeling of loneliness, the time when isolation becomes the best way of avoiding confrontation with emotions and expectations. Maia, like the characters in the film, becomes invisible to the world.
Andrei Platonov ‘Black & red’
Iâ€™m 24 years old. I was born in Belarus, Kostyukovichi city. Now I live in Minsk. Iâ€™ve been tightly engaged with photos since April of 2013. I have many friends that are models so I started to photograph them. This was the beginning of my journey with fashion photography. The colours black & red inspired us to create the series. I used rich and deep colours and image processing. Red - tension, motion. Black - completeness, conciseness. Excellent modelling makes the image desirable and the red lipstick increases tension.
Jamie Firminger ‘Refractographs’
I’m studying BA (Hons) Photography at the Arts University Bournemouth. Through exploring fragments of fine art photography, I have developed an understanding into various camera-less and lens-less analogue printing techniques. Constructing concrete and abstract works throughout my practice, thus exploring the ways in which a light source can be diffracted, transformed and structured in many different ways. When light passes through one of three lenses: optical, camera or crystalline it creates our vision and daily perception of what we see. During this process the light refracts in different ways depending on the connection between the light source and the aperture. Through the use of the trichromatic colour system, the series RGB captures the refracted light using camera-less techniques directly onto light sensitive surfaces.
AN Interview with
Alexis Clerc Written by Dario Carere What inspired you to become a photographer? What chiefly inspires you when you decide to take a photo? I don’t precisely remember what got me started. Until a few years ago I was just playing with a small digital point and shoot. I take photos because I have a visual memory. I freeze landscapes, scenes, moments, or characters, you have to build the narrative around. Sometimes it’s purely aesthetics, though. I look for things that are interesting, dark, abnormal, sometimes beautiful or mysterious enough that the viewer can form a narrative, I’m trying to capture these with a light touch of humour.
Is there a particular reason why your work is mainly focused on Japanese culture? Yes, the main reason is practical - I got an opportunity to live in Japan for a while and although I wasn’t precisely interested in Japanese culture at first, I knew it was an interesting place to live. Most visitors tend to project their fantasies of Japanese culture onto what they see and experience in a short time, and leave the country with the same flawed understanding. Japanese reality is more complex like a giant puzzle... I don’t live in a big city, like most photographers and this puts me in an even more interesting place to look at the country.
Your most recent work, Sado Chado, is shot in black and white opposed to your other work, what drove you to make this decision? I started this series a bit after landing in Japan. I wasn’t really into black and white photography. I was interested in the things of today, which to me, were definitely in colour. Black and white almost felt like cheating, by giving an artificial cue of nostalgia to pictures
or by too easily reaching for the overdone ico- and I like them both because they give nography of street photography. I knew I was different results, although I prefer film probably wrong, but this is just the way I felt. much more. Then at some point I rediscovered black and white and realised I generally liked to look at a monochrome photo, while still preferring shooting colour and the idea of Sado Chado came along.
Many of the people photographed in Sado Chado are faint or look in despair; did you want to present a decaying image of Japan?
I tend to be more selective when shooting film because it’s expensive so the photos on my rolls are usually much higher quality on average. Being selective isn’t always good and it prevents from taking risks and experimenting. That’s when digital comes in. I don’t really like shooting digital, but I have much more room to play, sometimes images I wouldn’t have shot with film come out really nicely with digital.
In a way, yes. It’s not the only thing I am trying to do through this series, but it is defi- B) I don’t really have one favourite photobook nitely an important part of it. I love Japan and in particular, so here are a few. I’m not saying that it is desperate, rather that everyday reality is less bright than it appears. It might be a bit obvious, but The Last Resort by Martin Parr has long been, one of the The first image I had of Japan was that of a most enjoyable and interesting references for modern society that was on its way to perfec- what I’m trying to do as a photographer. I like tion. But again, I quickly discovered the di- his empathy, humour, and critical mindset. chotomy between appearances and reality. There is lots of stress, relationships are difficult... Issey Suda’s Fragments of Calm is also one I the working class seems to struggle a lot and really enjoy and learn from every time I flick doesn’t really have a voice, culture and tradi- through. itions are increasingly rendered and consumed as entertainment and so many more aspects Alec Soth’s LBM Dispatch series, which of Japanese life are deteriorating this way. casts an equivocal light onto societal and anthropological questions. My intention is not to paint a negative picture, rather to deconstruct a myth by capturing the Lastly, could you give us a piece of advice for small cracks and glitches of the everyday. I all the aspiring photographers out there? see the iconography in Sado Chado as a sort Keep away from comfort zones. Read of satirical haiku, or a poetry of misfortune. photobooks, read novels. Forget about gear. Go out.
What other aspects of society are you going to depict in the future? What’s next for your work? I guess I should do something where the critic is going to be more obviously positive. I think I’m generally interested in challenging how things are perceived, so a next project could be to find something that deserves more exposure and consideration. It’s actually what I’ve started doing with my project Island Logitstics.
Okay, some quick fire questions: A) Digital or Film? B) Favourite photobook? A) Both! They are two different approaches
Visit our blog to read the full interview.
Anton Bulyonov ‘Moon Away’ I’ve been interested in visual art since early childhood, but I became a computer geek, a high school teacher and software engineer instead. The world turned upside down when I bought my first camera. Now photography is my way of perception. Dreamy coastal landscapes have always attracted me. There’s something alien in wet rocks, lonely houses and dry grass with sunsets. This project is an effort to visualise a feeling of unreality, which I sense each time I come to the ocean.
Druart Cyrille I started travelling to large cities twelve years ago, aged 23. My work is based upon browsing urban places randomly and capturing the mood. I am attracted to areas filled with people, not necessarily to interact with them, but to observe and create some visuals from it. My photographs relate to an idea of beauty and strangeness in life. They are about us, our way of living, our concerns and also moments of grace. I don’t really work in series’. One picture might be totally different from the previous, and I have no idea what the one after will be about. It’s the situation in each instant that moves me, although I sometimes plan to go back to some places with potential. I think my best photographs so far are the unplanned ones. I see my pictures as fragments, linked together by a formal search. I also try to inject some sense of mystery into my photographs. I find more interesting to suggest things than show them, which is often disappointing. Imagination does the rest, it’s very stimulating for the viewer as there is not just one interpretation, everyone may find one.
I was born in Macau and now as a photographer base in Taipei. I take photos for everything as long as it inspires me. Basically I am interested to something uncanny and humour.
ON the cover
Uncanny Peace is the project I work with my fantasy. I want to create something abstract, humour and uncanny feelings with my subject. The colour is one of the most important elements in this project because I want people to be attracted by the colour at first.
Photographers index Thomas Bergner Adrien Blondel Anton Bulyonov Cole Michael Carter Druart Cyrille FAKEDCANDID Bryan M. Ferguson Jamie Firminger Ilka & Franz Sophie Harris-Taylor Jamie Hladky Won Kim Puzzleman Leung Franklin Mendez Vivienne Mok W F Moore Mira Nedyalkova Andrei Platonov Weronika Saran Dana Stirling Fedor Shklyaruk Anna Tea HĂŠlĂ¨ne Veilleux Kathryn Younger
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