I wake up in the mornings to a sun muted by dense pregnant clouds. Wei's departure back to the States concluded my long 'summer vacation' and I am reminded of this harsh reality as school greets me with her bitter classrooms and glacial gazes. I need a hug that lasts throughout the night.
D woke up at 8/26/2008 02:35:00 PM [comment]
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24 August 2008
I love professional models even though this one is a little inexperienced. She's so beautiful.. But I think I don't really know how to photograph women.
D woke up at 8/24/2008 03:04:00 AM [comment]
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22 August 2008
Stephen Shore on digital photography,
"I see digital as a two-sided phenomenon. The fact that pictures are free can lead to greater spontaneity. As I watch people photograph (with film), I often see a hesitation, an inhibition, in their process. I don't see this as much with digital.
There seems to be a greater freedom and lack of restraint. This is analogous to how word processing affects writing: one can put thoughts down in writing, even tangential thoughts, with a minimum of inner censorship, knowing that the piece can be edited later. The other side of this lack of restraint is greater indiscriminancy. Here's a tautology: as one considers one's pictures less, one produces fewer truly considered pictures."
Andrew Moore on the creative process,
"My friend Julius Shulman is very fond of saying that the camera is the least important aspect of taking pictures. With students I try to emphasize that photography is an extended process of decision-making and not about a singular "decisive moment." (One revelation of the digital era is that this notion of "process" has been made quite explicit.) So in my classes we talk about everything from very detailed technical issues, to questions of strategy for finding and approaching a subject, as well as personal and philosophical questions about the ideas that illuminate their images. I feel strongly that the collaborative aspect of picture making is ultimately what enriches and expands one's ability to see and to know, and perhaps as their teacher, I'm one part of that collaboration. Often photography students start out thinking that they have to work alone, which may have something to do with cherished myths regarding the secretive or isolated artist. However, the best student work I come across is both inclusive in a personal sense and expansive with regards to culture and the world at large."
Andrew Moore on photographing people,
I think this debate about pictures with or without people is inconsequential as a matter of overall artistic value. However, and again referring to Julius Shulman, if you look at his best pictures, the people are as carefully orchestrated as the construction of the architectural space. His "characters" locate the image in a particular point in time, and moreover, they enact a fantasy about American life, which is what I admire most about those images. Julius chose with care the models (or friends), clothes, props, etc. which most closely fit his vision of that space and accompanying lifestyle. Yet what he did best, and I have talked often with him about this, involved the "direction" of the people in his images, both their placement within the frame and their physical gestures. What makes his pictures extraordinary is the complex mixture of the real and the ideal, because in Shulman's photographs his characters are both imitating life as well as offering up an idealized version of it.
For example, there's a fantastic picture of a house shot from poolside in Palm Springs: a man in a bathing suit holds a towel wrapped around his neck with both hands while speaking to a woman who's reclined in a chaise longue and shading the sunlight off her face with her raised hand (on the other side of the frame is the architect himself, Richard Neutra, seated and reading some papers). The couple's relaxed pose balances out the aggressive industrial shapes of the house, and also embodies the idyll of postwar American life. Julius, even at 96 years of age today, is incredibly observant of the behavior of people, and he intuitively understood, much like a film director, how to get people into "character," as well as how their poses would play out within the context of the larger "scene." (Just by way of contrast, consider an artist like Saenredam, the 17th-century Dutch painter of church interiors and perhaps the first purely architectural artist. He created beautifully complex spaces out of Reformation interiors, but the little genre figures that provide a sense of scale and populate the lower parts of the panels were actually painted in by another artist.) As someone who loves and photographs architecture all the time, I truly admire Julius' ability to place figures in his spaces: it's extremely difficult to do well, perhaps more difficult than anything else, especially in large format, and Julius is absolutely a model to study for anyone interested in this problem."
D woke up at 8/22/2008 01:28:00 PM [comment]
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21 August 2008
A random roll exposed in July-August
Melbaby blames me frequently for taking only ugly photographs of him. It's really not my fault. He had one chance to look pretty with the others but...
I am designing a brochure for a language elective program. Obviously I need models.
And we sent both SC and Hamster to America.
D woke up at 8/21/2008 11:25:00 PM [comment]
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15 August 2008
Alvin took this lovely photograph while I was shooting from the other angle. It is an outtake, or perhaps more appropriately a behind-the-scenes photograph.
If not for R from Casual Poet, I would have never thought of doing a personal 'exhibit'. And even now as it opens I am shy just mentioning the term 'exhibit'.
It is a Quilt for me in more than one way; obvious in how I 'patched' these different lives and boys together. But even more so because while conceiving this, I was aware of the works by different artists that have taken photographs of such sleepy boys. So in a way, this is weaved thinly by the creative threads and influences of these brilliant artists whom I will always hold in high regards and feel inferior to. Ash has also reminded me of how the quilt and the fabric is almost now a metaphor for AIDS prevention and 'nation building'. Indeed, there is that social dimension to this series - the infallibility and invincibility of youth and yet how fragile it is for us to remember this only in a frame that is taken in less than a second.
R has set it up such that the photographs are pegged onto a string that is nailed onto the wall and I like the imagery of how these pictures (being part of a bigger one) are hung out to dry like laundry.
Come to Casual Poet because it is a cozy cafe tucked nicely above the bak kwa stalls and antique shops in Chinatown. I could spend an entire afternoon with their books and imported queer and quaint magazines I cannot get elsewhere.
Casual Poet is at 273B New Bridge Road, Singapore 088749 Tues - Sun (off on Mon) 12pm - 9pm
It's near the porridge place at Chinatown, above ground level. So you might need to keep your eyes on the doors to find the entrance staircase.
D woke up at 8/15/2008 12:11:00 PM [comment]
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14 August 2008
We miss you already. Hope someone will feed you well there. Lots of meat.
D woke up at 8/14/2008 02:59:00 AM [comment]
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12 August 2008
D woke up at 8/12/2008 03:30:00 PM [comment]
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10 August 2008
Lilo moved away to Toa Payoh with my brother, so there's no longer her wagging tail to greet me at my door after a long day outside. I figured that is what is missing.
I took so many photographs of domestic pets in Taiwan. I found this alien-eyed dog really amusing and the playful cat really attractive.
I always had this theory that there are two camps: dog lovers and cat lovers. When someone tells me the animal he prefers, I thought I could almost tell what kind of person he is. But this theory is weaker in its resolve, even for myself, as while I miss my dog, I sometimes wished she were a cat, and that she could leave and return home or play with me only as her heart desires.
D woke up at 8/10/2008 11:54:00 PM [comment]
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08 August 2008
My first ever public display of photographs will be on this month. It's a series that I've been busying myself with for the past month or so.
I shot digitally, about 8GB worth of RAW digital negatives, but I only chose 10 which looked best when placed together as a set, which means they might not be the best photographs from each of the rooms that I've visited.
It is an expanding set that I will be constantly working on, so if you don't know me too well, or you don't know me at all but would like to have your photograph taken in your own room, email me at email@example.com with a little note.
Well, outtakes will be coming soon I hope.
Thank you R from Casual Poet and my dearest accomplices Koo Chia Meng and Alvin Lee Jian Jin.
D woke up at 8/08/2008 06:27:00 PM [comment]
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05 August 2008
Edited this overnight. Going back to sleep now. Singapore Theatre Festival opening tomorrow!