It was almost accidental that I walked into this exhibition. And I must confess, without any understanding of what I was in for, or what this exhibition was all about, I took away a renewed vigor of what photography means, at least to me. In a world where photography is increasingly made convenient through technology, the magic of photography is not just about capturing moments as they are, but it is a powerful medium for visual story-telling.
‘Shoot and Point: Selected works by International Photographers’ is held at Ikkan Art Gallery in Tanjong Pagar DistriPark. It is co-curated by Andrew Herdon. Featuring works of Hai Bo, Steven Pippin, Miroslav TIchy and many others, the inherent theme central to this exhibition is the idea of photography as a medium to explore relationship between the art-works as objects and the stories they represent within. The focus is not as much on the final images as with the artists’ concepts and processes behind to achieve the desired effects. The interesting part to most of these works is the multiple layers of meanings a viewer can freely explore within an image against the complex story the photographer chooses to tell.
My favourites in this exhibition would be Naoya Hatakeyama’s Untitled/Osaka diptych, Sally Mann’s Fallen Child and Steven Pippin’s Laundromat-Locomotion. Naoya’s work captures the relationship between modern civilization, urban expansion and Mankind’s relationship with Nature. Untitled/Osaka features a neighbourhood within Osaka Stadium. The saturated colours, the deliberate lack of human-ness in a location where it is known for cheering crowds intensifies the tension between urbanisation and isolation as a society progresses.
Sally Mann’s Fallen Child features her own young daughter in an ethereal and haunting setting, face-down on the ground and her back scattered with grass all over her body. The image evokes a relentless feeling, which seems to suggest the naivety of her young age is soon gone. It questions growing up and mortality in a very sensual way.
Steven Pippin has an interesting series where he transformed washing machines into cameras. He connected trip wires to a row of twelve front loading washing machines to take those images and developed the photographs in the wash and rinse cycles of the machines. The result is an interesting set of black and whites which shows the mundane and repetitive activities of a typical laundry shop.