A photos presentation
21th september - 21th oktober 2000 at Forum Meyrin Art Centre - Geneva, CH
|PAINTING WITH LIGHT|
|Taking Charles Weber s workshop in
Wellington in 1998 was the most inspiring thing that happened to me in my entire year of
photographic study at Wellington Polytechnic.
I am an Artist at heart, my medium is photography. Charles' workshop gave me a new tool for my repertoire. Applying techniques he taught to ideas of my own, and armed with a torch and a booklet of sample colour filters used for film making, I set off on a new photographic adventure.
The aim of my work was to bring colour and life to sculptured objects.
The funery images which were taken in New Zealand cemeteries I wanted to make glow with an eerie/ethereal light, bringing life to objects usually associaed with death.
Upon moving to Japan this work had to stop due to a lack of such headstones and I replaced these objects with stone lanterns which were readily accessible without permission, unlike the sculptured Buddha s I originally wanted to photograph.
My motivation in taking these photos was to add illumination to lanterns which are never lit in this modern age of electricity! Like the funery sculptures few people take much notice of them. However, hopefully people will look at them in a new light after seeing these images!
I hope the viewer shall enjoy viewing these images as much as i enjoyed making them, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my assistants Steven Mc Nicholl, Holly Knill, Kelly Tagney, Dianne Cook and Nozomi Watanabe,who braved dark graveyards, and freezing cold Winter nights to help me with this work.
|(3) My Story - My Series for
WALLIS HOUSE SERIES Out of the Darkness comes Light
How does one begin to tell the story of a love affair?
I have been in love with Wallis House since first I went there in 1978. It is a Christian retreat House in Lower Hutt, the nearby city to Wellington in New Zealand's North Island.
My photo series is a story about arrival at night: mystery and magic, peace and panic. Through the course of the weekend I try to show the theatre where the discovery and rehabilitation of the soul takes place. The big influence in the clearing of the mind is the house and garden. One person at Wallis House described the garden as "the kindergarten of the soul". A place where you can be a child again? The last photo in the series is leaving the House in the day time. The magic of night is gone but the firm structures of self-confidence are in place, like beams supporting a building.-
The weekend is contained like a shelf of books with a night-time entry and a day time exit.
Life is full of entries and exits. What happens in between, is the magic of you, your spirit and the creator, plus food, rest and sleep.
Out of the darkness comes light.
|The Kaiwharawhara river
My first introduction to the Kaiwharawhara Stream was in an area surrounded by concrete near the sea. I investigated a little, and from what I saw, expected a straightforward progression from this industrial scene to a more natural and beautiful environment as I neared the streams source. As the project grew I began to realise little by little, that a lot of these initial assumptions were wrong. In several rather confused steps, I discovered that the stream followed a much more convoluted and complex path than I had previously anticipated .
I learnt that the head waters of the stream were mined for gold by early settlers of Wellington 140 years ago. Then it was dammed to provide freshwater for the growing city. In another section further downstream, the stream is piped underneath an old rubbish dump for the city. Currently, the upper valley area is being restored to a pre- European state. It is being transformed over time to create a wildlife sanctuary, in keeping with a more contemporary "green" attitude.
What became clear to me whilst I was working on this project, was that the
effects of man, for better or worse, are evidenced along the entire length of the stream.
Whether we dictate its direction for practical and commercial reasons, or cultivate it's
beauty for our pleasure, the stream has had to contend with constant human interference.
Interestingly enough then, in this small quarrel between man and nature, the stream still
manages to deliver its cargo of fresh water to the sea just as
|Reversal of Fortune
Dig into the psyche of most New Zealanders and you will find an insecurity that can be traced to our origin as Europeans transplanted into a South Pacific. We are unsettled by this land clothed in primeval rainforest, pocked with volcanoes, shaken by earthquakes and pounded by the sea.
Ever since the first settlers arrived in the 1840s we have been modifying it to fit some European model in the hope of regaining our equilibrium. Being neither Polynesian nor European has lead to a national identity crisis and a willingness to adopt change in the hope that some national characteristic will miraculously appear for us to adopt as 'our' culture.
We still defer to the British courts, and the English Queen is head of state. We blithely import fashions and follow fads espoused by overseas 'experts' that have led to wrenching changes in society and commerce and impoverished the nation. Despite the reality of massive debt, a rising current account deficit and falling income, most New Zealanders cling to the fantasy that their 'clean green' land is the envy of the world!
These photographs are my exasperated reaction against such self deception and the cant espoused by business and the National government based on doctrinaire beliefs that economic salvation can be achieved by leaving everything to private enterprise operating on a 'level playing field'. Thankfully, in November 1999 we chose a new government to bring a dose of realism to those who still believe in the 'clean green' paradise!
|Fairyland at Home
Daheim im Märchenland - Mon Pays Fabuleux
My Fairyland images are the result of my own personal journey of exploration of the known, yet unseen, in front of my very eyes.
It does not require travelling far in order to find the mysterious and secret worlds of our childhood fairy tales. The right time and the right mood paired with an inquisitive and imaginative mind can let us see more than any exotic place could ever offer.
Darkness and silence of the night sharpen our senses. We subconsciously remember instincts and survival ski l l s. we thought long lost . In a hostile and dangerous environment everything depends on us recognising any threat early.
Then, all of a sudden, we become aware of the beauty that lies hidden behind this darkness. We feel and hear the wind whispering between the trees. A new world opens up before our eyes. It is a world full of life, a world full of wonder. It is only a small step to imagine fairies, gnomes and trolls in this my Fairyland at Home.
This series, produced around my home, also tells about New Zealand, its plant life and the Southern skies. They are an expression of my love for the place I live in.
|If God gives me a wish, I will choose going
around the world and taking photographs of the landscapes and people, the two things that
I love the most.
Photography plays an important role in my spiritual life. It represents my feelings for all aspects of life.
Capturing the images and their true values forever just as I saw them the first time, even as time went by.
I hope my photos will be enjoyed by all of you so that we can understand each other better and be closer.
My photographs can not be explained fully. Through the Photo-Lightscapes photographs I share my love of my country with you. You will contemplate the romantic landscape of the Imperial City Hue and the gracefulness of the Vietnamese women.
I hope that my photos will help you to understand Vietnam better. My country which loves peace and is ready to open its arms to our friends all over the world.
|I am proud to have the opportunity to
present my photographs. Without the teaching from Charles Weber and the support of my
friends in Vietnam, Soeur Lien, Mr.Dung, Mr.Tan and Ms Weber this would not be possible.
My passion for photography alone would not have been enough.
In Vietnam where I was born and grow up the light of the oil lamps and the candles are familiar to me. Most of the poor families in Vietnam are living by these sources of light. It is not as bright as the electric lamp but very warm as the love of the family members. In this warmth I take the photos of the family dinner.
Based on the lunar calendar, on August 15, we celebrate TET Trung Tu ( Mid - autumn Festival ) On That day the children carry around colorful Chinese lantern and enjoy eating the traditional moon cake. I have precious memories for this festival.
Thanks giving festival is the meeting between the dead and the living.It is a custom of the habitants in the catholic region of Tha La. On the first of November every year the families return to the graves, burning incense to remember their ancestors. The cemetery in Tha La, a sacred place in Tay Ninh Province, is illuminated from the light of the many candles. Noel, ( Christmas) in Vietnam is celebrated with the most creative decorations in the shape of stars illuminating streets and houses.
|Photography is not only my passion but my
profession and my career in the last 25 years. I am attracted to the most characteristic
sites of my country. The landscape and the chains of smooth mountains, behind the green
valleys. The people, especially the simple peasants who work hard and still keep a warm
and loving personality.
In the past years I oriented my photography in this way: Let all things, people and situations pass by in the stream of time, do not interfere or alert them. I always try to capture the best moment, fully aware of the true value of things including my own feelings.
I am honored to present some of my photos at the exhibition.. They cannot present my deepest feelings, but they can surely make you feel my love for my country. I realized them with the technique of Photo-Lightscapes. You will be attracted by the splendor of the stalatic grotto in Halong Bay, the folk festivals with the streets bustling from the sound of the drums. The streets in the rainy night, small alleys with ancient houses. The beautiful Vietnamese women dancing the traditional folk dance. Through these images I hope you will be interested to learn more about my country. A country that loves peace, offers its hospitality to friends all over the world.
Respect of each other cultures and tradition contribute to better understanding among nations and people.
Lapparition de limage électronique a profondément transformé notre rapport à la photographie. De son ancien statut de technique novatrice et doutil dinformation, la photographie argentique a glissé dans le domaine des techniques artistiques classiques, au même titre que la gravure par exemple, et son champ dexpression soriente de plus enplus vers lillustration poétique.
Les nombreuses facilités de manipulation de limage numérique ont ouvert de nouvelles possibilités dexpression qui, comme un choc en retour, se répercutent dans tous les autres domaines des arts visuels.
Mon travail utilise délibérément cet effet boomerang en retransposant sur le terrain de la photographie traditionnelle les outils utilisés pour la manipulation des images digitales. Je fais du « photoshop » grandeur nature. Le pinceau devient lampe de poche, le spray est un flash, le crayon une ampoule et je me promène comme la souris dans limage, en plein air et sous les étoiles.
|It is a common belief that the most
important characteristic of photography is its ability to
realistically document the world.
This belief applies especially to colour photos, rather than black and white, which by its lack of colour tends to the symbolic and abstract. An understanding of flash, coloured light and light temperature as measured on the Kelvin scale enables us to make photos that are other than how the eye/brain thinks it sees reality. Rather than striving to overcome colour casts to present a neutral image, we exploit them to show a photographic reality in which the world resembles a stage set.
All I can say about my work is that I have strong visual instincts. I respond to pictures and have always had a desire to make my own. Rather than operating from a strict methodology, I often surprise myself by what I think is good and never know what direction, or photo, I will take next.
I try to stay alert for the combination of elements that will have some real, or apparent, internal logic when they are represented as a photograph.