Monday, November 30, 2009

Augenblick. Blog on Photography , Books : Italian Riviera by Mark Cohen

Book on Italian Riviera with photographs by Mark Cohen released last year
here the note from publisher :
Mark Cohen adheres to the fundamental principles of street photography. He uses small format equipment and chooses the urban context as his unique field of action. Despite this he does not haunt large metropolises but, almost without exception, produces his work in small towns and, above all, in his hometown of Wilkes-Barre, a coal mining suburb of Pennsylvania, where he was born and where he has always lived. This is also true of the series he produced along the Levante Riviera in Liguria, during his stay in Rapallo. The scale of places in which the American photographer moves, as well as his attitude, is essentially unchanging. Unlike fellow photographers working on the streets of New York, Paris or London, Cohen is actually unable to disappear into the crowd and remains constantly visible. The act of photography becomes a veritable performance for him, made up of ambushes, agility and a rapid encounter/collision with his subjects the moment the shutter is released . . . The aesthetics and the content of the American artist’s photographs are essentially the same on the Ligurian coast as they are just a few steps from home. Wherever he is, Cohen continues to use the same method and remains sensitive to similar influences. His work presupposes a strong ability to plan. Although, as we mentioned earlier, his work contains the street photographer’s instinctiveness, this acts within the boundaries of a plan which corresponds to his idea of the world and of photography. Beyond the genius loci (geography, even if recognisable and typical, proves to be a chance element in his work) and the decisive moment, in Italy as elsewhere, Cohen uses photography to tell his own story.
Photographs by Mark Cohen. punctum, Rome, 2008. 96 pp., 35 black & white illustrations, 6x8½".

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Augenblick. Blog on Photography , Profile : Zhang Xiao

Was really a pleasure to meet up with Chinese Photographer Zhang Xiao in Pingyao festival. Zhang Xiao is one of the most interesting iconographer in China , he can combine the reality of life in city like Chongqing (one of the most interesting and massive experiment of Chinese Urbanization) with the surreality of people using the Holga Camera. Was hard to choose a photo from the cover of this post , I do have many I like. I am also waiting for his latest project as he told he has 150 rolls still to develop.....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Profile : Pawel Jaszczuk

I spoke about Steven Ahlgren which has done a series on corporate office life and today I will talk about polish photographer Pawel Jaszczuk which has worked on after work life of so called "Salary Man" . Is quite common in Tokyo as in other big cities in Japan to see typical employee getting pissed and drunk.
Apart from this project also have a look at Kinky City... quite interesting nightclub life in Tokyo....
Here a note on Salary Man:
Same suit, same tie, same suitcase. Hundreds of thousands of individuals. 8 AM jump in the train packed with dozens of salaryman. Arrive in the office in some fancy building in central Tokyo. Sit on their desk, don´t share their own ideas, never question their boss´s judgement. Accepted boring jobs without question. Salaryman’s lifestyle revolves entirely around work at the office. Nobody challenge the system and the system will provide for all.
If some coworker senior to you (sen pai) wants to go drinking after work, you go. Hang out with colleagues and clients into the night in outdoor standing bars in Shimbashi. Karaoke in Shinjuku, cigarettes, sake or shochu everywhere.
It´s already midnight and salaryman not even thinking of the last train. Exhaust, death-drunk collapse after a night of heavy drinking. Some of them manage to get to a capsule hotel if they know one, some make it to a taxi, and some others just try to make themselves as comfortable as they can wherever they fall.
In Japan heavy drinking is a naturally accepted and sometimes compulsory catharsis for the hard working salaryman. They don’t really care about having their suitcase or they mobile phone stolen. This is Japan, and as easy as it may seems to pick their wallet, drunk salaryman are part of the urban landscape, respected by everyone. A million ways different from the West, where young people get wasted and break the limits as an accepted crazy young attitude, but where for respectable family men it’s shameful to be cought totally drunk by a neighbor.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Augenblick. Blog on Photography , Profile : Yang Yankang

One of the best work on Tibet done by Chinese Photographer Yang Yankang which is also represented by Agence VU in France.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Profile : Steven Ahlgren

Living in a corporate city like Shanghai means living daily with the business talk, working eventually in some corporate events and have the chance to buy good version of TV serial "The Office" ( by the way i do prefer the english version...) . Apart from this personal (and sad) experience.. I have the chance to see some work from photographers who were able to describe this world. I have a couple in mind and today I will post the link of Steven Ahlgren , american photographer who had done different project. Have a look at Inside the corporation series , as well the Outside the corporation one.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Profile : Cang Xin

Photographer and Artist Cang Xin from Heilongjiang province has developed different art projects which is worth to have look. Main focus on his works are the different issues related to Identity . I do like the series on Communication and Identity Exchange Series from which I use the photo done on Wedding.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Augenblick, Blog on Photography :Exhibition : Lu Guang at Beaugeste Gallery

Exhibition not to be miss at Beaugeste gallery in Shanghai, the 2009 Eugene Smith award winner Lu Guang will present his big project on Pollution's effects on China. The exhibition curated by Jean Lohn is titled "Requiem for Mountain & Waters" and will showcased impressive photos from different places which depict the heavy consequences of the rapid industrial progress of  Asian's biggest country. Lu Guang will be attending the event which will open the 21st of November at 3 Pm. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Augenblick. Blog on Photography , Profile : Li Wei

I like the work of Li Wei, simple and intimate , especially his project "Earth" that investigate Innner Mongolia province where he is coming from.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Augenblick. Blog on Photography , Lecture : Peter Dixie on Constructed Spaces

Peter Dixie will hold an interesting lecture on the use of the human figure in landscape photography, its historical roots, meaning and use in the works of Kalle Kataila, Weng Fen & Peter Bialobrzeski. The lecture will take place this coming Saturday at 3Pm at the Kunstlicht Gallery in Shanghai. I think is a good occasion to be introduced to good photography. Dont miss it.Here some note from Peter Dixie:
What does the human figure stand for in landscape photography?
Behind every image, there is more than “V” signs in our hands and big smiley faces, the use of the human figure in landscape photography can be traced back through the development of European Landscape Painting, the Chinese tradition of Shan Shui and German Romanticism. Also, during the lecture we will be discussing the boundaries between land and human, spiritual and religious, our inner and outer soul.
Our lecturer Peter Dixie, a British Photographer, will also be introducing known photographers from around the world, Kalle Kataila (Finland), Weng Fen (China) and Peter Bialobrzeski (German), in order to elicit the meaning of the human figure in landscape.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Augenblick. Blog on Photography , Books : Paolo Ventura "Winter Stories"

While I was spending my time in Italy (last may) I am picked up an  interesting work and publication from Italian photographers, Paolo Ventura . He has a peculiar work using miniature to represent a reality. He works since some years in America.
Winter Stories is a new book from Paolo Ventura.
here a note from the publisher:
In this luxuriously produced limited edition, Paolo Ventura invents an imaginative series of photographs depicting scenes from the memory banks of an old circus performer as he looks back on his life.What the performer revisits are not moments of great drama, but rather fleetingly recalled glimpses of an everyday life,“images that he had thought to have never seen, quick moments he unknowingly observed as he raised his eyes to the clock hung at the corner of the block.” Using his own childhood memories, beautiful miniature figures and sophisticated sets, Ventura re-envisions a simpler time in 1930s Italy, but his darker vision—with its shadowy backdrops and retreating figures—reminds us that this is not quite Eden. Skillfully crafted and hauntingly evocative, the work is filled with the sweet melancholy of an era, but remains timeless in its ability to resonate with contemporary audiences. This monograph contains an engaging sequence of images, ephemera from Ventura’s working process and a selection of the artful drawings he creates as guides to his elaborate sets.
Photographs by Paolo Ventura. Text by Eugenia Parry. Aperture, New York, 2009. 120 pp., 65 color illustrations, 11½x14".

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Augenblick. Blog on Photography , Festival , Lucca DigitalPhotoFest

A little bit of everything at the Lucca DigitalPhotofest , workshops and lectures and some good exhibitions. Among other photographers like Alex Majoli , Richard Avedon, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Ernesto Bazan and Martina Bacigalupo will exhibit. Indeed an interesting retrospective of Japanese Photographer Eikoh Hosoe from which I post the cover photo of this article.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Exhibition : Chen Wei Solo Exhibition

Chen Wei will showcase his work from 2007 to 2009 at M97 Gallery in Shanghai, opening on the 14th of November. The exhibition will display 30 recent prints from the photographer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Profile : Lars Tunbjork

I like editorial photography when can tell something new and open my mind to a different world, is the case of Lars Tunbjork which has faced an interesting story on Radovan Karadzic second life.Better to read the presentation from the reportage and understand the incredible funny series ( I have choose the most funny one people holding strange antenna to defend themselves from magnetic fields...)
On the run for 12 years, Rodovan Karadzic lived using the fake identity of Dragan Dabic, natural medicine specialist, when he was arrested in Belgrade on the July 22nd 2008.The former chief of Bosnia's Serbian people is accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.At the time of his arrest, Dragan Dabic was quickly becoming somewhat of a celebrity in Belgrade: he had his own column in a national magazine and he was collaborating with a well-known sexologist on a novel form of sperm-rejuvenation therapy.
Lars Tunbjork went to Belgrade and photographed those who met with him during these 12 years. From a nationalist bar keeper to followers of alternative medicine, they are numerous to mention the unusual magnetism of “Doctor” Dabic.
This new life was stopped dead in its tracks as Karadzic was sent off to The Hague last July to stand trial for war crimes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Augenblick, Blog on Photography / Exhibition : He has a female name by Andrei Liankevich

Young Belarusian photographer Andrei Liankevich will be part of the exhibition "Gender Check" which will open today at the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna. His project "He has a female name" is a collection of photos in Black and White which show the life of Lesbian community in Minsk.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Augenblick, Blog on Photography , Profile : Hiroshi Watanabe

I have been looking at many photojournalistic work from North Korea, it seems media wants to know more about and send photographers hidden as tourist to shoot the most sealed country on earth, the result is often repetitive , same photos of metro station, sad people walking by the big statue of the great leader and some hidden photos done in the many boring museum and site which tourist are obliged to look. Although the difficulties to work in North Korea Japanese Hiroshi Watanabe was able to work deeper and produce a great essay of photos which ended up also in a book titled "Ideology in Paradise" . I like the portraits and the urban situation, the photographer seems he had quality time to shoot and be part of this mysterious country . Click here to see his gallery on this project.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Augenblick. Blog on Photography , Festival : Rencontre de Bamako

A good way to look deep into African Photography is certainly the Rencontre De Bamako (Biennal of African Photography) which will be opening this year on the 7th of November , the photo festival will display a good collection of photographers from the forgotten Continent. The festival will not only include exhibition but also screening, lectures and meetings in order to better understand African Photography and perhaps better promoting in the world. Among the many photography which will introduce their work Jodi Bieber (South Africa) , Kadar Attia (Algerie) , Yo-Yo Gonthier (La Réunion) and indeed an interesting retrospective on Malik Sebide' (Mali).
Here some words from their official presentation:
While the Bamako Encounters have achieved recognition over the years as an opportunity for African photographers and professionals from all over the world to exchange ideas and discover each other's work, one of the aims of this year's edition is also to turn the Encounters into an event and a celebration for the local population. The focus placed on photographs of "everyday life", the activities and exhibitions assembled in some of the major and popular locations within Bamako (National Museum, Palace of Culture, District Museum, INA Gallery, French Cultural Centre...) and the campaign organised ahead of the event to publicise the Encounters in schools and universities are an integral part of the desire to occupy the city's urban space and involve its inhabitants. At the same time the Biennial’s international network will continue to expand, especially with the new Arles Encounters/Bamako Encounters partnership and the presentation of the series Luxury by Martin Parr, the invitation from the Michael Stevenson
Gallery of Cape Town, which will feature a film look at two of its artists: Pieter Hugo and Nandipha Mntambo, as well as introducing international artists and projects. These programmes will enhance the national visibility of the Encounters while at the same time develop its key role internationally in spreading African photography.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Augenblick. Blog on Photography , Books Not Niigata by Andrew Phelps

A new book by Andrew Phelps on the Japanese city of Niigata. I have spent a day in Niigata, one of the best rice and fish I have eaten and some nice coastline view . Apart from that the book is an interesting interpretation of the city by the american photographer. Here the note from the publisher:
When traveling in a foreign place, I tend to be fascinated with both the exotic and the mundane. The two are often one and the same, especially in a place where the gap between old and new is astronomical. But what does it mean to photograph with the pretense of documentation? I find it is easy to get caught up in chasing an illusion of what I think a place should look like; preconceptions are powerful and the quest to understand a place often leads to a greater misunderstanding. The best I can do is tell the story of my traveling and responding visually to a place I don’t necessarily understand. It is the story of not understanding Niigata. -by Andrew Phelps
Earlier this year, Andrew Phelps was comissioned to take photographs in Japan’s Niigata Prefecture for the »European Eyes on Japan Festival.« The volume Not Niigata presents the artist’s selection from the hundreds of images he brought back from his trip.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Augenblick , Blog on Photography : Magazine : Ahorn Magazine new issue

Shen Wei and Susan Worshan are the main profile on the new Ahorn online issue. I spoke already about Ahorn Magazine and I will try to keep you update with the new interesting editions which come up online.