Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Augenblick, Blog on Photography - Profile : Hiroshi Watanabe on Suo Sarumawashi

Again I am talking of Japanese Photographer Hiroshi Watanabe, is perhaps one of my favorite . Previously i have talked about his project "Ideology in Paradise" done in North Korea and now I will post something of his project "Suo Sarumawashi" . The series of portrait of "Dancing Monkey" are stunning .
Here the statement from the artist :
Sarumawashi, literally "monkey dancing" evolved over a 1000-year history in Japan. Ancient Japanese chronicles refer to it as a form of religious ritual designed to protect the horses of warriors. It later developed into a popular form of festival entertainment, and was performed all over Japan from temples to imperial courts. Today, Sarumawashi is ranked alongside Noh and Kabuki as one of the oldest and most traditional of Japan's performing arts. It features acrobatic stunts and comedic skits performed by highly trained macaque monkeys.
Despite its current popularity, Sarumawashi almost perished in the 1970's. The increasing urbanization of Japan and the rise of the automobile on Japan's crowded city streets threatened Sarumawashi's place in Japanese culture as a popular form of street performance. In 1977 a group of individuals throughout Japan, fearing the total demise of this ancient art form, gathered to effect the revival of Sarumawashi. They founded the Suo Sarumawashi association in present day Hikari City (also known by its ancient name of Suo) in Yamaguchi Prefecture in Western Japan. After a series of setbacks, the Suo Sarumawashi Association finally succeeded in bringing Sarumawashi back to life. Today the association in partnership with the Murasaki Corporation runs two 600 Seat Sarumawashi Theaters, one based in Kumamoto Prefecture and the other in Yamanashi Prefecture near the base of Mt. Fuji. The Suo Sarumawashi performing group also tours frequently throughout Japan.
The reason for Sarumawashi's ongoing popularity lies in the charm and agility of the Japanese macaque monkey. Sarumawashi showcases the natural physical prowess of the Japanese monkey by combining acrobatic stunts with comical skits and dances. The monkey and trainer perform as one unit to create a bond between man and primate

Friday, March 26, 2010

Augenblick , Profile : Simone De Iacobis

Magic Realism, a new Skyline for Rome is the last project from photographer and Architect Simone De Iacobis. The work features on Monu Magazine it is a view into the delicate new Urbanization of Rome by the new plan which has built many satellite district around the city. The project is a series of portraits of people within their Urban contest. A different way to see Rome for those who think about the beautiful ancient and historical buildings.
Here some sentences from the statement of the project :
On the 13 February 2008, while the council of Rome approved the new master plan, a new urbanism season started for the eternal town, a season of a new deal between private and public interests. In this context, thanks to a planning instrument called “Accordo di Programma”, the real estate companies can be allowed to duplicate future building surfaces in exchange for something “useful” for the public community.
The companies are owners of strategically located land for the expansion of the city, so they often offer money to contribute to building new infrastructures such as underground lines, streets, etc… to connect these new areas with the rest of the town. In so doing, the council of Rome relinquishes this land, square meters that were supposed to be offices and services for the inhabitants of the district.
But which kind of companies are these? What are their aspirations?
Talking to TV journalist, Mr Scarpellini, who is building 1milion cubic meters in Rome, explains “this is like a game” - a game that we imagine involves a lot of work, risk and sometimes problems with legal issues – “a lot of people ask me: why are you doing this, if that makes you live as a poor man?”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Augenblick, Profile : Zane Mellupe

Latvian Photographer and Artist Zane Mellupe has produced an interesting project called Found Family. The project done in Shanghai represent some "official" photos taken to a family which she has printed by negatives she found on the street.
Here more on the work :
Found Family is a series of work, where the photos are printed from negatives that among many others have been found along the alleys of Shikumen ruins. The act of finding appears random, but randomness is what this work is partly about when talking about arranged marriage, one child policy and the pressure from society to have both fulfilled. Calling it "Found Family" is an act of enforcement where the individual appears to be helpless in front of the family, society and government.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Augenblick , Publication : Zing Magazine

Zing Magazine is a free magazine to pick in Shanghai. Is a good magazine which can help perhaps some foreigner to have a better culture in Photography. Promoted by Xintiandi management (a rich area for expats and rich chinese) has always layout some interesting photographers and text which is something rare here in Shanghai. In the current edition an article on Li Wei , in the past photographers such as Alessandra Sanguinetti, Andres Gonzales and many other.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Augenblick , Exhibition : Rafal Milach - Black Sea of Concrete

Black Sea of Concrete if one of the latest project by Rafal Milach, the project which has won the Photography Book Now will be exhibited as solo Exhibition at Yours Gallery in Warsaw (Poland). I already spoke of Rafal on his "7 rooms" Russian Project when it was exhibited at the Pingyao Festival in 2009 and I will speak more later on (I am preparing an interview with Rafal) . The opening will be on the 18th of March , if you pass by dont miss it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Augenblick , Exhibition : Michael Horowitz

Austrian Photographer Michael Horowitz will present his collection of portraits at Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna. His portraits includes authors like Thomas Bernhard, Elias Canetti and actor like Klaus Maria Brandauer and a curious photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger at Famous Cafe Hawelka done in 1975.
Starting of exhibition will be on the 15th of March at Zeinlhofergasse 7 in Vienna

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Augenblick, Profile : Man Yi

Well I keep tell to Man Yi to edit better his work (non only)... In any case I saw some good work among the many different and disorganized material which he showed me some time ago. Man Yi (editor of most clicked photography portal in China , Xitek.com ) is shooting with a pure instinct with his Leica and has something to develop for the future.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Augenblick , Exhibition : Marc Riboud Retrospective in Shanghai

Marc Riboud will be back in his beloved China to attend a big retrospective on his work at the Shanghai Art Museum which will open this coming week end. The Retrospective is a combined work curated by Li Ning and Jean Loh.
here a note from the press release :
A magnificent retrospective of the great French photographer Marc Riboud opens on the 6th of March at the Shanghai Art Museum. Composed of 130 classic dark room prints, with half of them about China, and including previously unpublished pictures, this exhibition showcases the Best-Of of Marc Riboud’s 50-year of photographic career. Featuring the personal style of the man who has “a compass in the eye “according to Cartier-Bresson, the carefully selected works demonstrate what makes Marc Riboud release the shutter: above all instinct, sensation, intuition and the pleasure of the eye.
"Beautiful picture bothers me, although I too fell into that trap. If we think too much about the form, you risk falling into a beautiful, well done, whereas photography is about changes; the instinctive moment, the snapshot. " Affectionately dubbed Ma-Ke-Lv-Bu by his Chinese peers and admirers, this great lover of China which he has visited over twenty times, is coming back at 87 years old for this unique occasion, where the audience will discover his “icons” that retrace his career in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, America & Asia, such as the painter of the Eiffel Tower, the flower girl’s face-off with the gun-toting soldiers and his memorable Yellow Mountain landscapes.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Augenblick , Profile : Ann Woo

Hong Kong Artist Ann Woo mixing portraits and landscapes with some interesting series on different sunsets . I like the portrait "Tara" which I am also using in this post.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Augenblick , Profile : Özant Kamaci

Turkish Photographer Özant Kamaci has produced a series of photographs of planes and nature. The short but great selection included "Pause" and "Landing" from which I choose the opening of this article and the statement from the artist:
"Landing' is an exploration of the human connection to landscape and machines. The series depicts a visual interruption of the pastoral landscape. Man observes the machine in admiration and awe. The medium of photography captures the interruption on two levels: the interruption of the descending plane across the untouched pastoral landscape and the interruption of man’s admiration of the machine as more akin to the admiration of nature or creation versus a manufactured object"