'interviews'에 해당되는 글 4건

  1. 2007.10.16 Steve McCurry (Magnum / National Geographic)
  2. 2007.09.13 Nan Goldin Interview
  3. 2007.09.07 Keld Helmer-Petersen Interview
  4. 2007.07.11 Hiroshi Sugimoto Interview

Steve McCurry (Magnum / National Geographic)

Writings 2007.10.16 00:08



Steve McCurry (b. 1950-)

펜실베니아 주립대학교에서 예술 건축 대학(College of Arts and Architecture)을 졸업했다. 그는 학생 시절 영상 작업에 관심을 갖고 다큐멘터리 영상 제작자를 목표로 삼았지만 수석 졸업은 그의 인생을 바꿔 놓았고, 당시 살고 있던 필라델피아 외곽 지방 신문사에서 2년 근무를 기점으로, 1978년에 프리랜스 포토저널리스트가 되어 인도로 떠난다.

이런 그의 의지를 성공으로 이어준 사건은 바로 여기서 시작한다. 약 일년을 인도에서 일하고 파키스탄 북부로 향한 맥커리는 자신이 묵던 호텔에서 두 명의 아프간 사람들을 만나게 된다. 그가 사진기자라는 사실을 알게 되자 남자들은 그에게 사진을 찍어 자신들의 고향에서 일어나는 내전을 보도해 달라는 부탁을 한다. 그리하여 맥커리는 현지인으로 위장하여 파키스탄 국경을 넘어 당시 반군이 점령하고 있던 아프가니스탄에 잠입한다. (그의 젊은 시절은 한편의 영화다)

내전으로 혼란스러운 틈을 타 러시아가 침공하였고, 촬영을 마친 맥커리가 다시 파키스탄 국경에 도달했을 때 그는 검문소에서 필름을 감추기 위해 옷과 터번, 심지어는 양말과 속옷에 꿰매 놓았다. 사진들은 즉시 New York Times에 실렸으며, 순식간에 Paris Match, Stern, Time, Newsweek, 그리고 Life가 그의 사진을 앞다투어 실었다.

그는 수상경력 또한 화려하다. 사진가들 중에서도 뛰어난 용기와 모험심을 보여준 작가에게 주어지는 로버트 카파 상(해외 보도)을  받았고, NPPS(National Press Photographers Association)의 1984년 올해의 잡지 사진가 상, 같은 해에 World Press Photo 대회에서 4개 부문에서 우승을 했는데 이는 전례가 없는 기록이 되었다. 또한 Olivier Rebbot Memorial 상을 두번 수상했다.
 
그러나 언제나 영광스러운 스팟라이트만 받는 그가 아니었다. 숨막히는 사진들 뒤에는 여러번의 죽을 고비가 있었다. 그중 정말 아슬아슬 했던 사건들을 꼽자면 - 유고슬라비아 앞 바다에 그가 타고 있던 비행기가 추락한 사고와 인도에서 광폭한 신도들에게 폭행을 당하고 익사당할 뻔한 일도 있었다. 무자히딘에 의해 살해당할 뻔한 적이 있으며 감옥에 감금되고 고문 당하는 등, 강력한 의지로 '목숨을 건 촬영'을 계속한 작가이다. 실제로 죽었다고 보도 된 일도 두번이나 있었다.

맥커리는 인도에서 얻은 깨달음을 하나를 자주 언급하는데 대략 다음과 같다. “당신이 기다리면 사람들은 당신의 카메라를 잊고 그들의 영혼이 시야로 떠오를 것이다.” 그는 특정 장소에서 원하는 장면이 펼쳐질 때까지 엄청난 인내력으로 기다린다. 때로는 반나절, 심지어는 며칠을 한 장소에서 기다린다.

구름이 낀 흐린 날씨의 빛을 가장 좋아한다는 맥커리. 밝은 날에는 사람들이 얼굴을 찡그리기 때문이라고 설명하는데 실제로 그의 인물사진드을 보면 빛이 고른 흐린 날씨에서 촬영했기 때문이다. 그는 또한 우기의 어둡고 비오는 오후를 매우 좋아한다고 한다.

맥커리는 이란-이라크 전쟁, 베이루트, 캄보디아, 필리핀, 걸프 전쟁, 그리고 유고슬라비아와 아프가니스탄의 붕괴 등 다양한 지역을 다니며 각종 국제적/내적 충돌과 대립들을 보도했다. 그는 전쟁이 인간에게 미치는 영향에 집중한다. 최근에는 앙코르 와트, 예맨, 카쉬미르, 인도의 독립 50주년, 버마, 스리랑카, 봄베이, 그리고 Ground Zero를 보도했다.


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저 유명한 아프간 소녀의 포트레이트는 1984년에 파키스탄에 있는 아프간 난민촌에서 찍은 사진이다. 교실에서 수업을 듣고 있는 여자 아이들 중 “눈빛이 매우 강렬한 소녀”를 발견하여 촬영했는데 “머리 속에서 잊혀지지 않는 인물이었다,”고 회상한다. 오늘날 위에 사진은 사진사의 아이콘이 되었고 그의 대표작이라 할 수 있다.

그는 현재 사진집 5권과 셀 수 없을 정도로 많은 전시회를 갖고 있다.
The Imperial Way, 1985
Monsoon, 1988
Portraits, 1999
South Southeast, 2000
Sanctuary: The Temples of Angkor Wat, 2002


2003년 12월 작성한 글을 정리하여 올림. 2부를 쓰기로 해놓고 4년을 방치하다니...
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Nan Goldin Interview

Cribs 2007.09.13 00:55

Nan Goldin interviewed by Adam Mazur and Paulina Skirgajllo-Krajewska
13 February 2003, Warsaw

"If I want to take a picture, I take it no matter what"
 
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Self-portrait red. Zurich. 2000


Your approach towards photography is very personal. Is it not a kind of therapy?
Yes, photography saved my life. Every time I go through something scary, traumatic, I survive by taking pictures.

You also help other people survive. Memories of them don't disappear because they are in your pictures.
Yes. It is about keeping a record of the lives I lost, so they cannot be completely obliterated from memory. My work is mostly about memory. It is very important to me that everybody that I have been close to in my life I make photographs of them. The people are gone, like Cookie, who is very important to me, but there is still a series of pictures showing how complex she was. Because these pictures are not about statistics, about showing people die, but it is all about individual lives. In the case of New York, most creative and freest souls in the city died. New York is not New York anymore. I've lost it and I miss it. They were dying because of AIDS.

Did you decide to leave the United States because of the effect the AIDS epidemic had on the community of New York gay artists and writers?
I left America in 1991 to Europe. I went to Berlin partially because of that, and partially because one of my best friends, Alf Bold, was dying and I stayed with him and took care of him. He had nobody to take care of him. I mean, he had lots of famous friends, but he had nobody to take care of him on a daily basis. He was one of people who invented the Berlin film festival. This was also the time when my Paris photo dealer Gilles died of AIDS. He had the most radical gallery in the city. He did not tell anybody in Europe that he has AIDS, because the attitude here was so different than in the United States. There was no ACT UP in Paris, and in 1993 it looked very much like in the US in the 1950s. Now it has changed, but at that time people in Europe told me: 'Oh, we do not need ACT UP. We have very good hospitals'.

Your art is basically socially engaged...
It is very political. First, it is about gender politics. It is about what it is to be male, what it is to be female, what are gender roles... Especially The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is very much about gender politics, before there was such a word, before they taught it at the university. A friend of mine said I was born with a feminist heart. I decided at the age of five that there was nothing my brothers can do and I cannot do. I grew up that way. It was not like an act of decision that I was going to make a piece about gender politics. I made this slideshow about my life, about my past life. Later, I realized how political it was. It is structured this way so it talks about different couples, happy couples. For me, the major meaning of the slideshow is how you can become sexually addicted to somebody and that has absolutely nothing in common with love. It is about violence, about being in a category of men and women. It is constructed so that you see all different roles of women, then of children, the way children are brought up, and these roles, and then men, then it shows a lot of violence. That kind of violence the men play with. It goes to clubs, bars, it goes to prostitution as one of the options for women - prostitution or marriage. Then it goes back to the social scene, to married and re-married couples, couples having sex, it ends with twin graves.
 

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Valerie and Gotscho embraced, Paris, 1999, Galerie Yvon Lambert
 

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Clemens, Jens and Nicolas laughing at Le Pulp. Paris. 1999


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Clemens squeezing Jens' nipples. Paris. 2001


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C. Z and Max on the beach. Truro. MA. 1976.


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Simon and Jessica kissing in my shower, Paris


Did you make any movies?
Yes, I made two documentaries. "I'll Be Your Mirror" was made with the BBC. It is about my life. The other was made with Joana and Aurele. It is about AIDS and it is called "Ballad at the Morgue." He has AIDS and she does not. It is about a couple, about a relation of a couple, where one person is HIV-positive and the other is not. The film has only been shown in Turin.

What about music?
Yes, it is very important to me. Now, I am very influenced by Nick Cave. He saved my life, literally.

 

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The sky on the twilight of Philippine's suicide. Winterthur. Switzerland. 1997

 
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Fatima candles. Portugal. 1998


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At the bar: C. Toon and So, Bankok 1992


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Self-portrait in hotel Baurau Lac, Zurich, 1998

 
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Valerie and Bruno in bed with blue blanket. Paris. 2001 


What are you going to do next? After the Devil's Playground and the Matthew Marks show in New York?
I do not know. I never know. I think it is going to be something different, because I have been through hard times. We will see how the market will react to this, but I do not care about the art market at all. My dealers are becoming greedier and greedier. They start talking to me in this strange way saying "We will show this and this picture, because they are going to sell well." I am worried about that they no longer even pretend to have any ideals. At least my American dealers.

Could you please tell us something about the people, the artists who have influenced your art?
My biggest influences are my friends. Bruce was one of first persons that introduced me to slide shows in the 1970s. I started doing slide shows because I left school. During school I went to live in Provincetown, a gay resort three hours away from Boston. It is the farthest point in America's east coast. It is beautiful. It is a little community of artists. Norman Mailer lives there. A lot of painters and writers live there. In the 1970s it was really wild with Waters, Cookie, Sharon, and Sharon's son. It was incredibly wild. Later everything has completely changed. In Provincetown we used to live in small groups. I took lots of pictures of my friends, like "Bruce in the snow". I've known Bruce since 1972. We lived together with Bruce, Sharon, and Cookie. I was at the School at the Museum of Fine Arts. Those days the school was that teachers sat in the parking lot and drank. Literally. This was before the 1980s. We were told that we will never make any money on art. Now, the students that I teach, at Yale particularly, all they want to know is what gallery they could have a show in or could I help them to get a show. They go right from the graduate school to the big galleries. It is all a career move. When I went to art school, I never heard of Artforum. Never. I took classes in Russian literature, in Faulkner, whom I love. I took writing classes, I took the history of film, I took drawing to be able to see better, because many photographers cannot see anything.
I actually became very influenced by Rothko. I love the work of Richard Todd, but I cannot say he was an influence. Anything that I see and I love is an influence, but I never try to replicate somebody else, like I never tried to make a Rothko. I love Caravaggio, but I never studied Caravaggio. I never made any Caravaggios. Some of my pictures of boys having sex, they have the same sense of light as Caravaggio. Caravaggio also knew all the people that he painted. They were his lovers or hustlers. Pasolini used boys from the street that he loved that he desired. Fassbinder only used people he knew. Cassavetes used the same people over and over, so I am not the first one to do that, but I think that people have forgotten how radical my work was in the 1980s, when I started, because nobody was doing work like that. Now, so many people have done work like that like Wolfgang Tillmans, Juergen Teller, Corinne DayÉ Now people think I am just one of many who've done that. They do not understand that The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was so radical when it came out.
I was very influenced by film, because I did not go to high school. I went to the movies. Sometimes I went to the movies two or three times per day. I saw every movie from the 1940s and the 1950s. I saw every movie where all those goddesses were... Every movie with Marlena Dietrich, every movie with Bette Davies, every movie with Barbara Stanwyck, every movie with Marilyn Monroe. Then I saw an enormous amount of Italian movies with Antonioni, Pasolini, de Sica I was very influenced by Cassavetes. When I am influenced, unlike many other contemporary photographers, I would never take a scene from the movie. I was very influenced by Fassbinder and Kie¦lowski. I saw his "Ten Commandments." How do you pronounce his name? Yes, he is very important to me. Also Fassbinder was important. I saw all his works.
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Keld Helmer-Petersen Interview

Cribs 2007.09.07 01:54

From the Patek Philippe Magazine, Volume II Number 7 (photos & cutlines from the BBC Website)

 

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In 1948 photographer Keld Helmer-Petersen published a book entitled 122 Colour Photographs which established his reputation as an artist. Subsequently his work became central to modernist Danish design and architecture.



Martin Parr: When did you start taking pictures?

Keld Helmer-Petersen: My mother gave me a Leica in 1938. I threw away the first roll of film, thinking, “I’ve got the prints, what do I need the negatives for?” I was that unfamiliar with photography! I only really became interested about a year later. I started entering photographs in amateur competitions, and they looked different from the other entries – and the subject matter was different.

 

MP: When you changed from black and white to color, did you start taking different types of pictures?
KH-P: Absolutely. It must have been about 1941. I realized it was a terribly different thing I was doing. You have to think of color as form, whereas in black and white photography you think in terms of light and shadow, lightness levels, contrasts, and so on. It encouraged me to work two-dimensionally, so I started picking out details of warm walls, architectural subjects, etc. I liked to pick nice two-dimensional things, that stress the importance of color.



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Following the publications of his book he worked for a brief time for Life Magazine before returning to Copenhagen to concentrate on his architectural photography.



MP: At the time, were you aware that color photography was frowned upon as something for the amateur and the commercial market?

KH-P: Not at all. I didn’t distinguish, really.

 

MP: And these photographs you’d accumulated in the mid-forties, did you show them to anyone?
KH-P: Oh, yes. At that time I worked in a bookshop. I showed these pictures to the book dealer and he said, “I think you have something special. Why don’t you make a book out of them?”

 

MP: You printed 1,500 copies. Can you remember how many you sold at the time?
KH-P: Not at all. I didn’t expect to. But them the publisher knew a young Dane who worked in the publishing trade in New York, and he sent the book to him. He showed it to the Life editor Wilson Hicks, who immediately took a liking to the pictures – just like you so many years later – and published six or seven pages of them in Life magazine. Then I started looking at the possibility of going to the States. I got a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation that enabled me to travel to New York, get in touch with Life magazine, do some assignments for them – and then go on to Chicago. That was my real aim, to study under [respected photographer] Harry Callaghan. But I’d never set foot in a darkroom, so it was a bit of a hazard. I was too old to join with the regular students, so they asked me to do evening classes. That was really tricky, because I didn’t know nearly as much as some of the other students. I didn’t even know how to use a tripod!



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Photographer Martin Parr says "Helmer-Petersen had been taking images of details of ordinary life since 1940, using his Leica and Agfa Colour film. These deceptively simple images were really ahead of their time."



MP: Why did you come back to Denmark?

KH-P: My family was still in Denmark. I didn’t want my two boys to be American. Also I think I would prefer to be number one in Denmark than number ten or twelve in America [laughs].

 

MP: So you came back and you built a very successful career as a commercial photographer in Denmark?
KH-P: Yes. I met architects very early on. This was important. In 1954 I met the furniture designer Poul Kjaerhlm, who was a young man and a very promising talent. I wanted to have a show of my work, experimental stuff, the Chicago silhouettes, and I asked him to design the show for me. He came up with a beautiful cardboard model of the space to show me. And he had painted it black and white, so I had white pictures on the black and dark pictures on the white.

 

MP: That sounds very funky.

KH-P: It was beautiful. I still think it was one of the best shows we’ve ever had in Denmark. We became friends. I started working for him. I photographed all his furniture for him for many, many years.

 

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Today his work is held by a number of institutions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and his contribution to the development of colour photography is now being recognised by the art world.



MP: When you went back to Copenhagen, you continued doing your own work, but then you moved to black and white. Why was that?

KH-P: Black and white came out of Chicago. There wasn’t very much color really – it was gray, like the outskirts of London. Then you had this fantastic number of fire escapes, water towers, wires all over the place, bridges, elevated railroads going through the city. Looking up, there’d be patches of light, wonderful patterns. There was always a bleak white sky in Chicago, pollution, of course. There was no problem getting contrast. So using contrasting fine-grain film and developing it, and printing on contrasting paper, you got something that immediately had to be black and white. Chicago, the fantastic skyline, that absolutely triggered me off — and ended up as the book Fragments of a City.

 


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MP: How do you feel about the renewed interest in your work?

KH-P: A little bit embarrassed, to be quite frank. At the same time I can’t help being pleased. At my age it’s encouraging to be rediscovered. At the same time it’s a bit awkward for me in many respects, because I have to think in a commercial way, which I haven’t really had to before.

 

MP: Yes. But you had a little commercial digression!
KH-P: Oh, yes. But I never mix the two. People will be wondering, now that I’m publishing a new big volume retrospective of my work, why don’t I include my architectural work. I say no, that’s professional, that’s something different. I want to show my creative work, where my personality comes in.

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Hiroshi Sugimoto Interview

Cribs 2007.07.11 18:52

This interview was conducted in person at Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street on 06/04/05.
from the Kultureflash archive

Sherman Sam: Maybe we should talk about your show first. It surprises me that it both continues your work but also goes on a completely new track.
Hiroshi Sugimoto: Yes, of course I'm trying to be as different as possible but there has to be a continuous theme behind every series.

SS: This seems in a way more obviously "conceptual" because of its relation to Duchamp. Although the waxworks were also conceptual, they also seemed more like paintings.
HS: The first show at the Cartier Foundation was titled Etant donne, so it's a direct interpretation of Duchamp's Large Glass. But here I'm not using the glass box as part of the show, so I'm just calling it Conceptual Forms, the given title of this series.

SS: But the "Conceptual Forms" are different from the "Mathematical Forms"?
HS: Conceputal Forms consists of two parts, "Mathematical Forms" and "Mechanical Forms".

SS: So the "Mechanical Forms" are the bachelors and the "Mathematical" ones the brides?
HS: Yes, they're the brides... [laughs]

SS: So when you were conceiving this series, you had these forms in mind?
HS: Ahh, well I've been very curious about early Modernist movements including architecture and also the sciences. I've been studying this field for many years, more than 10 years. I've visited many museums, and actually I found one near Amsterdam, the Teylers Museum in Harrem, the first science museum, a collection of 18th century and 19th century scientific devices. The first battery system, a tank filled with chemicals that sparks, they're just huge things. Also there're telescopes, galvanometers, heliographs, optical devices, and many, many interesting devices from early science. I wanted to photograph this collection but it wasn't very easy. Then a couple years ago, I found the Tokyo University Collection, and I thought.

SS: It might be useful! [laughs] It seems that this is the first time you're photographing something very small.
HS: Yes, sort of... but I used the same camera for the architectural series. So even though it may be a small object, I'm keeping a same approach as if they were buildings or architecture. In my shots I lose the sense of scale, whether it's huge or small, so that it’s hard to tell.

SS: That's true, and is the exposure long?
HS: About 5 to 20 minutes.

SS: Oh, And with the buildings?
HS: The buildings are very short exposure, because I wanted it out of focus, so I couldn't use a small F-stop. It had to be wide open, and that limited the exposure to being as short as possible. In this case I wanted to get every detail as sharp as possible, so I used F-64. It's old tradition...

SS: So we've got the secrets now... everyone will know [laughs]. I suppose with this new series it is a finite group?
HS: I never say, well this is it. If I can find more interesting machines, I will keep continuing. And also... these "Mathematical Forms", I have the formula and everything, so I am experimenting to make a three-dimensional sculpture from it. I have a team organised. Something like this [gestures at image from his catalogue] is just a cut-off of this round section but it can be continuous. It could be as long as possible...

SS: Like Brancusi?
HS: Yes, this can be 2 metres, 3 metres, 10 metres... so I am working with the advanced study of mathematics at Tokyo University. Now everything is computerized, so I have this computer software to order a sophisticated carving machine to turn this trigonometric function into a form. A prototype-making team from the Honda motorcar company is making this for me. So this is of the highest standard, the most sophisticated machines and computer software from Tokyo University's mathematicians, all working together to make a sculpture.

SS: This seems in the opposite direction from how you take your photographs. They're quite singular, I mean they're very technical but old-fashioned in their production...
HS: Yes. It's interesting that you reminded me about Brancusi's sculpture. The Pompidou has Brancusi's studio, and I've been offered a show there

SS:Wonderful!
HS: It's still to be confirmed, as I'm still working on it to make sure that it works.

SS: The other correlation is, of course, that he was a 1920s artist...
HS: And Duchamp associated with Brancusi, and Duchamp was into the mathematics. He never really announced that himself, but those pieces that were at Poincare Institute in Paris. They owned the same set as the one that Tokyo University purchased in the 1910s and 1920s. Also Man Ray, the colleague of Duchamp, did a series of photographs of these same models.

SS: Really, I've not seen those.
HS: It's not very widely published. I knew that he did this series, plaster models from the same cast. Anyway when I found these objects at Tokyo University, I knew that Man Ray had done them, well... maybe I can do it better [laughs].

SS: I think your camera is a bit older than his...
HS: And so I tried to be as much different as Man Ray. He shot one side so I intentionally did the other. He shot from the top so I shot from the bottom.

SS: Where did you see these photographs?
HS: There are several books about these series...

SS: That goes to show what I know about Man Ray. Do they always have to be together? Can the brides be shown without the bachelors?

HS: No, no... Only for the Cartier Foundation show, I just named it as a singular show. So I don't particularly mention Duchamp here.

SS: I guess in a way maybe once people associate the Duchamp with the photographs, you'll always have a kind of narrative.

HS: This [referring to his La Boite en Bois (The Wooden Box) a facsimile of Duchamp's Large Glass] will be placed sometime today for tomorrow's opening...

SS: Ah... so it will be in the show.
HS: Yes, the pedestal is currently being made and will arrive later. This happened because I found the forth replica of Duchamp's Large Glass in Tokyo University's collection. At the same time I found a group of interesting models, and Duchamp's final replica... unbroken unfortunately. This is like a second or third generation replica... a replica of replica. Now this, again, is a photograph of a replica. So it is a third generation copy.

SS: So this is a photograph?!
HS: Yes, of the replica. The original negative is sandwiched with the contact print. So one side is negative, one side is positive. This an original 8x10 negative and it's an edition of 25... I shot 25 times to make the original negative [laughs], then I made a contact print out of it so that it is black and white. It is sandwiched in glass so it heavy, that’s why it's free-standing.

SS: The replicas were made by Richard Hamilton?
HS: No, no, that's just the Tate Gallery version. There are four replicas in all, two at the Stockport Museum, the third by Richard Hamilton and the fourth by the Japanese poet Shuzo Takiguchi. He is about the same age as Duchamp and they associated together. He got permission to make the 1968 replica. After Duchamp's death, the Tokyo University acquired it and Duchamp's wife, Teeny, came to authorise it...

SS: Its too bad she's not here now.
HS: But his adopted daughter, also the granddaughter of Matisse, Jacqueline Matisse who spent most of the last years with Duchamp, she came to see my piece. I thought it would be better to get permission from her. She loved it and approved it. She even borrowed my phone and rang the Philadelphia Museum and told them it was wonderful and they should have it. They bought it.

SS: If only life were that easy...
HS: Then she came to see my show in Paris. And later sent me a letter of congratulations, adding that "Marcel would have liked it". This was the best compliment!

SS: That's very, very nice. Have you been a Duchamp fan for a long time?
HS: Yes and no. In 1974 when I first moved to New York from California, the first thing I did was pay a visit to Philadelphia to see Duchamp's Large Glass and Etant Donne. At that time, it was only a few years since it had been on display. But I wasn't aware of how much of an influence he had on me, it was some time later when I made the connection "this must be very Duchamp". That is I was thinking in a very Duchamp-like way, so I decided to call myself "Duchampian".

SS: Coming back to these photographs, I'm surprised that they're such short exposures since some of your other works take such a long time.
HS: Well, not necessarily, the Seascapes are short exposures, but I spend many days, even weeks sometimes just going to one place. The actual shot is very short. It is the Movie Theatres that take very long but the architecture is also short. The dioramas are rather long... 20-30 minutes. One portrait, 20 minutes...

SS: What do you think about when you're shooting them?
HS: Mainly technical factors to make sure that everything is working, so I don't have a lot of time to think freely. I have to watch my film, my camera, the light. You never know something may go wrong, especially for the cinemas. I used to do it during the screening time with people present, so if someone lit a cigarette... of course it's no smoking but some people smoke! Striking a match and that would be the end. The hot spots show. So I had to keep watching that no one was smoking [laughs]...

SS: You work hard for your art.
HS: Yes!

SS: And you've seen a lot of movies...
HS: Oh yes, it's torture! [laughs]

SS: I like how you said in one of your interviews that different films give off different kinds of light. The happy movies were bright while sadder films were darker...
HS: Yes darker movies don’t have enough power.

SS: In another quote you said, "developing a low quality aesthetic is a sign of serious fine art, I can see this, but to me serious concepts are only shown through highly mastered techniques. Maybe I'm very 19th century minded."
HS: Yes, that's true.

SS: Do you feel that maybe as an Asian, your art is a continuation of certain Asian ideals.
HS: Well craftsmanship is very important to me. In this postmodern age, there is no respect for the craft, it's more concept. Trying to be as "fine" as possible seems to be outdated for a while... I told myself that I am a "pre-postmodern modernist"! [laughs]

SS: And there I thought we were post-postmodern modernists [laughs]...
HS: The postmodern experience of a pre-postmodernist [laughs].

SS: In a way you're very lucky in that your work matured in a time when photography as a medium came to the fore.
HS: Photography for a long time has been considered a second class citizen of the arts.

SS: But that's nice too in that it allows the photographers to carry on without much commercial pressure, except now you can carry on 'cause you have the money to do so.
HS: Well, I started from the 1970s so I had to wait a quarter of a century [laughs]...

SS: Do you feel that there are more things you want to do?
HS: Yes. Not just in photography, but also in sculpture and architecture... you never know. In my type of photography, it's not the digital world, it's fibre-based paper and chemical reactions. Nobody's making it anymore, so there is no market for the supplier. Any minute, companies like Kodak may stop making my film and so on... it's "endangered"! [laughs] So I could be forced to retire.

SS: Can't you buy the factory or have the material fabricated?
HS: Well... its not so easy to buy out Kodak!

SS: I guess you'll have to go digital.
HS: Next life!

SS: Maybe in the next life there'll be something more interesting to do. There is a quality of painting to your work. In that it's slow, it requires you to pay attention to texture and surface. The image is in relation to surface while very often most photography is about just image.
HS: Well, I just had lunch with Howard Hodgkin in his studio, I found it very interesting how the painter spends time... It's the same principle for me, I imagine my vision then try to make it happen just like painting. I don't go out with my camera looking for some image, I already have my vision first. The movie theatres for example, the vision was there already. The reality is there, but how to make it like my reality.

SS: So are there many rejected ones?
HS: Yes, mostly rejected.

SS: Wonderful, that's what we like to hear... Thank you.

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