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SHIN NOGUCHI

Shin Noguchi is an award winning street photographer based in Kamakura and Tokyo, Japan. He describes his street photography as an attempt to capture extraordinary moments of excitement, beauty and humanism, among the flow of everyday life and has a discreet, poetic and enigmatic approach that is sensitive to the subtleties and complexities of Japanese culture without using posed/staged and no-finder/hip shot. “Street photography always projects the “truth”. The “truth” that I talk about isn’t necessarily that I can see, but they also exist in society, in street, in people’s life. and I always try to capture this reality beyond my own values and viewpoint/perspective.” Today we take a look at Shin’s series titled Nonverbal Space.

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“Nonverbal Space”, it is unstable, distorted, and contradicts what we have created. And [Ma], exists in there.

The characteristic of the Japanese [Ma] is very beautiful, also delicate, and if you are not always aware of the very small amount of undulation of [Ma], it loses balance immediately.

I tried to listen to a lump of invisible voice (or the voice that was confined) of [Ma] existing in nonverbal/unstable spaces of our daily lives, and I aimed to visualize the two invisible elements, [Ma] and human [Gou] (karma/conduct) that underlies in [Ma].

Also, in this project, I dared to express the human being as the existence (visualization of [Gou]), not as an individual but by making the whole nonverbal space the subject without including people in the frame. this way, i am managing the awareness of the relationship between individuals, society and the surrounding environment for the viewers.

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Danshi Tatekawa said that “Rakugo is an affirmation of human [Gou] (karma/conduct), that is, inconsistency”, and Alexander Pope also said that “To err is human, to forgive divine”.
As they talked towards “people”, could their words really be said in front of the “Nonverbal Space” which is more closer to the “society”? and could that “forgiveness” recreate another type of hope or a new possibility in this land where everything had changed to something that looks irreversible?

I shoot the “Nonverbal Space” (it is unstable, distorted, and something contradicts what we have created) while being aware of their words which were created by human beings as well.

Finally, by expressing the subjective viewpoint of the photographer, this project is, so to speak, an antithesis against the new topographic photographs.

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To view more of Shin’s work please visit his website.

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Seoul-based Korean artist Seokmin Ko’s photographic series The Square evokes both a peaceful sense of being at one with the world around us and a feeling of being lost. Addressing ideas of normalcy and identity, the artist holds up a giant mirror to reflect his surroundings and camouflage himself from the viewer. “We live locked by each other’s view and even our eye views sometimes serve as surveillance over each other. When individual views tamed by cultures and customs in societies aggregate and then serve for views of groups, each individual has no choice but stays as a standardized human being hiding himself or herself. Like this, under society strongly influenced by views of group, a real individual can’t co-exist… We begin to change ourselves to become ‘A normal human being.'” (via)

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Vittorio Ciccarelli

With the taste of summer around the corner here in the UK, blue skies teasing to what the summer could bring.  Having personally not had a summer in 15 years these photos by Vittorio Ciccarelli suggest the warmth that a summer brings.  They tempt whilst also remind me of the endless heat that also accompanies these long summer days, maybe less so here in the UK.  Click here to see his website

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The work by Karyn Olivier is playful yet unsettling at the same time.  The attraction to object or site, altered with an acute sense of humour or timing.  The ease of her works to create thoughts with from their first impression is incredible.  Maybe its just me and the area of interest Olivier operates within is somehow on a similar wavelength as my own thoughts.  Yet I feel it is also a sign of an artist who is intone, adept at knowing balance, able to strip a work back and not to make something look like its trying but instead for the work to operate on its own.  I am interested to see future projects that stem from Oliviers’ practice.  Click here to see more work on her webiste.

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What is a starting point or how do I find an IN?  A week ago I arrived in Yerevan, Armenia and within this week I have to find my bearings as well as figure where to begin.  Though I have current and ongoing themes within my work I change, my location changes and especially the landscape I experience.

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Firstly my process is simple I go get lost.. Not in the moment per se but in a place.  Public transport is easy to do this in a new country.  Just get on and do not worry about the direction just travel.  This here in Yerevan is perfect as the whole experience is totally different from other countries I have experienced.  The majority of the transport system is run by small minibuses similar to Ford Transit vans.  I am 6’4″ so even getting into these at times is a challenge.  Especially in rush hour, oh yes just like elsewhere in the world the transport system still gets crowded and these minibuses are full.  Standing room only and you would be surprised at how many people these buses can carry.  Its an impressive feet in itself.  However the whole process is calm and collected considering the horns being used by other road users and taxis.  The public just get on with it without any complaint or quibble.

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Anyways back to process.  My approach is I guess similar to the Situationists – Guy Debords’ dérive.  I use my one and one approach with the city to experience the infrastructure and witness the makeup of the city.  I am not directed as to where I head and would rather each left and right decided when it is met.  By passing through districts, suburbs and communities you can get a feel for what atmosphere and people live in a space.  This interaction with the landscape creates a dialogue that builds the more I walk and the further days spent doing so.  I start to question or be drawn into errors, repetition, oddities, familiarities and characteristics.  Its certainly not just the physical or visible that appeals, though sometime its the sense of smell or piercing sound that leaves a lasting impression.  I find my experience of space similar to how I read people and their personalities.  The anthropomorphic nature is something allows me to form initial ideas.  What are these ideas, well I have no idea until I start to delve into these dérives.  How do I know when I am onto a idea or something that is worth investigating further I do not know at first.  However I could compare it to tennis.  If you think about tennis and the shots that win matches or serves that are aces.  These are not ideas that appeal to me as they are either one of, one liners or too literal in their representation of an idea.  The ideas that I am interested in I would compare to the rallies that build and sometimes keep on going.  These rallies I would compare to the discourse that the ideas created within my own research and investigations and those that I speak to regarding the work.

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So by using this kind of dérive or active losing oneself I create an instability that aided by the new location or country sparks my engagement.  I move and navigate the new spaces without plans though attentive to that which is around me.  Over time my mind starts to read that which is around me in new ways and dialogues start to happen and it is these that I use to form the basis for new work/projects.

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I am not one to normally care or even look at who has been nominated or won certain prizes.  To be honest I am not sure how I ended up looking at the shortlist for this years New Sensations.  However I am glad I did as there are some works that really interested me.  Here is the link to the 25 artists who have been shortlisted.  I have posted a few photos of those that I liked their process or output.

Click here: New Sensations 25

Sarah Roberts

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Roderick Laperdrix

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Felicity Hammond

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Collette Egan

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On the 1st of October I will be heading to Yerevan, Armenia for two months to partake in an art residency program operated by Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory.  This is an exciting opportunity especially after my experience in Athens previously I feel more than ready to make the most of my time there.  It is a place that I have not experienced before but sits in an important part of the world.  Its rich history and current economic state will provide many new thoughts and ways to reflective current thoughts and perceptions.

This year has seen me move quite a bit and most of that time I have been immersed in countries where I speak little of the language.  This isolation in my nomadic practice really plays on my current thoughts of what home means to me.  My projects tend to start from a personal response but then tend to be expanded to become works that others can reflect on and read in their own light.  However I feel also whilst in Armenia I need to document the daily emotional attachment I have to what I deem as home, the never studio or practice nomadic..

I am also grateful for the funding that has been provided for this time I will spend in Armenia.  The ECF Labs and their Step Beyond Bursary has made this time one which I can devoted solely to furthering my research and creating new works.

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