Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1 Year On

Kali Yuga, is a project I began on the 17th of Feb 2009, this image was made on the 17th of Feb 2010 and in fact it was with this work that I began this blog on March 13th 2009. Please refer back to that blog post for other images and a description of the work in more detail, but in brief, Kali Yuga looks at the age of destruction and then a transition stage into Dwapara Yuga a time of greater understandings and peace. In our time we have destroyed so much, have been so obsessed with technologies and progressions, in fact sometimes I feel we choose to be blind to the destruction we cause. However with destruction comes creation, maybe we have to almost destroy ourselves before we will again open our eyes and become gentle.
Looking at the sky I see so much energy, so much boundlessness and with such intensity of light and dark represents creation and destruction perfectly. This work has been shot on none other than a mobile phone, hence destroying the depth of photography, however is printed beautifully on fine art rag paper with much care and attention spent on it, hence the creation. As I reflect over the past years work, I find I have made images that maybe have something, although this body is 118 images strong, now I wish I had made an image every single day. All images are titled with the date they were taken, on some days there were more than one made, especially with a rapidly changing sky throughout the day here in Malaysia. Should I continue, my heart is saying that I should.
And as I think about the work it makes me realize how much waiting is involved with photography, maybe the days I didn't manage to make an image represents that waiting. Waiting for the right moment, waiting for a project to take form and place, waiting for it to be good enough, people don't get to hear about the waiting part, or see it, but perhaps it is the most important part.
On Friday the 26th of Feb I am leaving home for India to embark on an intensive yoga course that lasts 31 days. I have been a practising yogi for the past 4 years, again waiting, waiting to be able to attempt a headstand, waiting for my fingers to be able to reach the floor without bending my knees, waiting for my body to be able to do what I would like it to do. But that is just it, we have to be mindful of our capabilities, bringing mind and body together, to be patient and to really take joy in the little progresses we make. It is a journey, a beautiful journey, both photography and yoga a look inward to ourselves and look outwards to the world around us, taking consideration and joy of what we find and trying to protect it.
You might be thinking how can one link yoga and photography, of that I'm not entirely sure myself, maybe India will enlighten me, but there are links in the things I have already mentioned, the waiting, the meditation and the process. But I do feel after a long time I am moving in the right direction and that is exciting to me.
I will have nowhere to use a computer at the Ashram I am going to, so this will be my last blog post for the next 5 weeks. In anticipation of all I will find and how much I will grow and we will see where this journey will take not only me but my photography also.
Om Shanti
Peace to all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Last Book

The last book is a project by and curated by Luis Camnitzer, firstly shown at the National Library of Argentina. I was proud that Luis chose my two images as above to be included in the book and always enjoy working on collaborative projects. This book is compiled with written as well as visual statements by artists from around the world in which the authors comment on society past and future, leaving a legacy for future generations. The last book makes a statement in itself about how technology has such an unavoidable impact on our daily lives, the book is printed and is alive 'in the flesh' so to speak, it was quite ironic when the National of Library of Spain offered to show this work but only on 'You tube,' being a complete contradiction to the purpose of the book. The Last book serves as a time-capsual and leaves a document and testament of our time from all sorts of artists from all sorts of places. Hmmmm a very good read!
The Last Book can be viewed at Zentral Bibliothek de Zurich, Switzerland from the 10th of March until the 31st July 2010.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The City and Photography.

"If landscape photography fed from earlier developments in landscape painting and aesthetics, then the photography of the city has its foundations in the way urban spaces were beginning to be viewed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We need to remember that photography established itself in a period when the growth of the city and industry had already provoked a formidable literature and art in response to the increasing influence of urban areas, especially such cities as London, Paris and New York. Photography takes its place in this process, but it does so in a consistently active sense, simultaneously responding to the variety and multiplicity of urban life and experience, and to the questions of how urban space was to be perceived and represented. In brief, its underlying response has always been in relation to the visual complexity of a city as both image and experience." Graham Clarke - The Photograph.

There have been so many photographers who have approached 'The City' with their camera's, Alfred Stieglitz; abandoning the street as an area of interest concentrating instead on perspectives of the New York sky line. Lewis Hine; gave us views of the city as a social and economic reality. Walker Evans who used concealed cameras beneath his coat giving us a candid view, Brassai gave us his vision of Paris maybe as more of a voyeur and someone who peeped. Too many photographers to mention here. Today we seem to find ourselves looking at images of cities, not such as London, Paris and New York, but of Beijing, Tokyo, Mumbai etc, cities with different implications and conditions. For me photographing a city makes me part of that city, blending with the walls, allowing the traffic to flow over me, spending hours walking the streets, to feel and see it. Using photography to come to understanding when we can ponder over an image made for minutes, days and weeks. These two images were made in the city of Kaoshan, Taiwan, a city of contrasts from that of huge modern buildings to the subtleties of history that fill in the gaps. Surrounded by water, an enigmatic harbour to a man singing karaoke on the beach.

Kaoshan thank you for having me and letting me get to know you a little.