All posts filed under: Exhibitions

"Ice Skating, Lai Yuen Amusement Park, Hong Kong" (now demolished), 1997 © Wo Bik Wong

Festival: Look Photo opens in Liverpool this weekend

Liverpool – home of The Beatles, a passion for football and the unforgettable Scouse accent; Hong Kong – one of the world’s key financial centres, towering skyline, exotic cuisine and ongoing violations of human rights. It might seem unlikely, but there are parallels to be drawn. Both are historically part of the British Empire and both brazen a rich maritime past with large trading ports still used today – perhaps one reason why the northwest England metropolitan borough is home to the oldest Chinatown in Europe and some 10,000 Chinese residents. It comes as no surprise, then, that Liverpool’s biennial International Photography Festival, curated by Hong Kong-based Ying Kwok, hones in on this complex, age-old relationship for its upcoming edition – which opens on 07 April. Sarah Fisher, the executive director of the Open Eye Gallery, the central venue for a number of specially-commissioned exhibitions at the festival, explains that today’s 10,000 residents are a fusion of two communities – the second and third generation Cantonese speakers from Hong Kong, “whose parents established Chinatown”, and those …

2017-04-06T14:22:35+00:00

Flowers from my brother, 2016 © Nico Krijno

On show: Nico Krijno’s The Fluid Right Edge

Known for working with brightly-coloured, very obviously retouched still life images, it’s easy to identify Nico Krijno with the new wave of work spearheaded by Lucas Blalock and Sam Falls. He agrees with a non-committal “I guess” but says that, based out on a farm near Cape Town and brought up in a small town by the Boschberg Mountains, he’s more used to doing his own thing. “It’s like totally isolated out there!” he tells me in Beetles + Huxley Gallery, the smart Mayfair space currently showing his work. “There aren’t the institutions, there are no bookshops, zero. I’m here to soak up some culture. “But I think if you’re isolated, you’re not exposed to everything that’s going on in London, you have to go inward,” he adds. “And that’s important.” Born in South Africa in 1981, Krijno never studied photography. Interested in writing and plays he studied theatre and film-making in Cape Town, before deciding his ideas were getting lost in “the hierarchy of all the people” on set and swapping onto stills. He …

2017-04-04T11:33:23+00:00

Laskhmi, 14, in her chhau. She sleeps on heaps of hay stack. Her mother told me Uma did not tell anyone when her periods started in fear she would be sent to exile. When they found out after the third day, because she ran out of cloths to wear and hide her bleeding, she was punished and made to sleep on nothing but hay in the family's animal enclosure. This marked her coming of age. Basti, Achham, Nepal, 2016.

On show at Format: Poulomi Basu’s A Ritual of Exile

It’s illegal, and a tradition that puts women at great risk, but despite this has been normalised, accepted and passed down through generations. In parts of Nepal, a practice called Chhaupadi dictates that women who are menstruating, and those who experience bleeding after childbirth, must live in makeshift huts because they are considered impure and therefore untouchable. Exiled by their communities and families, the women are refused access to water and toilets and must eat food scraps, fed to them as though they were animals. They are exposed in every sense, vulnerable to rape, abduction and assault, and even death from asphyxiation caused by the fires they are forced to light in their tiny, inadequately ventilated huts. In 2013, photojournalist Poulomi Basu travelled to Surkhet District in a remote region of Nepal to meet and photograph some of these women, assisted on the ground by the charity WaterAid. Appalled and outraged by what she saw, she vowed to return. “The first trip was so short and I was frustrated because I realised the scale of …

2017-04-04T11:36:21+00:00

Home Instruction Manual exposed at Seen Fifteen Gallery © Jan McCullough, courtesy of the artist.

Breakthrough Awards: Jan McCullough one year later

Jan McCullough won first prize in the Graduate – Series category of BJP‘s Breakthrough Awards last year with Home Instruction Manual, an innovative project exploring the concept of the ideal home. The title came from a 1950s manual for military wives the Northern Ireland-based photographer found in a secondhand shop; renting an empty home for a month, she decorated it according to contemporary online advice, and photographed the results in a deliberately amateur style. Winning a spot in the Breakthrough group show in East London’s Truman Brewery, she decided to include a huge roll printed with this advice in her installation. Since then, the project has had a high-speed trajectory. “Shortly, after winning Breakthrough, I was really happy for my show in Seen Fifteen Gallery London to be nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Award, and my book shortlisted for the Arles Book Award,” she says. “I have been installing my work in several solo show and group shows [over the past year], such as the Format Festival in Derby, Landskrona Museum in Sweden, Belfast Exposed Photography Gallery and The Library Project in …

2017-03-28T10:39:48+00:00

Joel Meyerowitz
Couple au manteau camel sur Street Steam, New York, 1975. Avec líaimable autorisation de líartiste et de la Howard Greenberg Gallery

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Joel Meyerowitz
Camel Coat Couple in Street Steam, New York City, 1975. Courtesy of the artist and Howard Greenberg Gallery.

Festivals: what’s on at Arles 2017

It’s the biggest, most prestigious photography festival in the world and it’s back – Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles opens on 03 July and closes on 24 September. It’s the 48th edition of the festival, which has seen seismic changes in the last few years – the departure of its long-standing director Francois Hebel after the 2014 edition, and the arrival of his replacement, Sam Stourdze, the backing of the influential LUMA Foundation, and the Cosmos-Arles book fair. This history and reputation mean Arles is able to pull in the big names, which this year means including solo shows by Joel Meyerowitz, Michael Wolf, Gideon Mendel, Masahisa Fukase, Alex Majoli and Roger Ballen; plus an exhibition on Surrealism organised by Le Centre Pompidou and including works by Hans Bellmer, Erwin Wurm and Rene Magritte. Arles also uses its might to showcase lesser-known names and regions, however, and one of the themes running through the 2017 edition is Latina!, a celebration of work from South America in four separate shows. Urban Impulses is a group …

2017-04-04T11:35:47+00:00

From the series The Canary and the Hammer © Lisa Barnard

Festival review: what’s hot at Format

In August of 2016, at the International Geological Congress in Cape Town, one of the world’s leading scientists declared we were living at the dawn of a new geological epoch – the human-influenced age. This new era, termed Anthropocene, replaces the current epoch, the Holocene, the 12,000 years of stable climate since during which all human civilisation developed. Format International Photography Festival in Derby, the UK’s largest photography festival, opened this weekend for its eighth edition, aiming to explore this notion of the Anthropocene by asking photographers to respond to the word “habitat”. Featuring more than 200 international artists and photographers across 30 exhibitions, the biennial is situated across independent cinema and exhibition spaces such as Quad, University of Derby and the Derby Museum and Art Gallery. The festival’s flagship exhibition, titled Ahead Still Lies Our Future, is on show at art space Derby Quad, and features work by ten photographers, brought together by curators Hester Keijser and festival director Louise Clements. “I wanted to offer up experiences concerning the complexity of our existence on …

2017-03-28T11:46:25+00:00

Y61 6,000km from the river source 19 Nov 2013, Mother River series, 2010-2014 © Yan Wang Preston

Exhibition: Mother River by Yan Wang Preston

Yan Wang Preston’s Mother River is both a physical odyssey through China and a metaphor for its evolution, travelling from the traditional culture still seen to be seen at its source through to the rampant modernisation approaching its mouth. “Modernisation is reaching everywhere in China, although in Tibet the degree of modernisation is not the same as in Shanghai,” Wang Preston tells BJP. “I wanted my pictures to document this gradual change along the river’s journey.” Born in China, Wang Preston originally studied Clinical Medicine in Shanghai – a family choice which she had never felt passionate about, she says. She worked as an anaesthetist for three years after graduating, but eventually quit took a break to go rock climbing. “During this process, I met a British climber and ended up marrying him,” she says. “I knew that I’d come to live in the UK at some point.” Making the move in 2005, she found that “the prospect of living a new life in a new country presented itself as an opportunity to choose my own destiny”. A keen …

2017-04-04T11:37:29+00:00

Hometown of Robert Frank, Wipkingen, Zurich. From the series Hometown © John MacLean, courtesy Flowers Gallery

On show at Format: John MacLean’s Hometown

John MacLean’s Hometown project has its origins in his childhood fascination with great historical leaders such as Gandhi, Churchill, Stalin and Mao. As he got older, he kept his interest in biographies, but became more drawn to the lives of artists. “I started reading artists’ biographies and the genesis of this project was asking myself why I feel connected to some artists and not to others,” he says. “That gave me the idea of writing down a list of my art heroes, my mentors by proxy, who have kept me inspired along the way.” It also gave him the notion of visiting the places in which those artists grew up to see how – or if – these locations influenced their later work, with the added challenge of trying to capture that influence photographically. “The project is about the places these artists spent their formative years aged six to 12, the years where they’re absorbing everything in their environment – the years that, in this fantasy documentary, are translated into the adult artist’s work.” MacLean compiled …

2017-03-22T13:13:25+00:00

Face Off, 2010, Roger Ballen, courtesy of Hamiltons

Q&A: Roger Ballen’s new show The Theatre of Apparitions

The photographer of the psyche, Roger Ballen, is in London to show his latest work, The Theatre of Apparitions, the first time he’s exhibited the series. Based in South Africa since the early 1980’s, the New York-born photographer has worked in photography for over thirty years, starting with ‘straight’ documentary but latterly moving into more abstract forms representing the relationship between human and beast, and harking back to the ancient shamanistic visions and symbols which he believes are embedded in us all.  The Theatre of Apparitions is inspired by hand-drawn carvings he saw on blacked-out windows in a women’s prison in South Africa. “The images occupy a perceptual realm – a fragmented world of part – objects where fears of annihilation and chaotic perceptions merge reality and fantasy, self and other,” says Ballen. “These silhouettes are flickering archetypes originating from the collective unconscious of human kind.” BJP: This work is quite different to what you have done before, what inspired it? RB: At the beginning of 2005, I was making a video in a women’s prison in South Africa, in Johannesburg. I went into one of the cells, and …

2017-03-22T13:05:44+00:00

BJP Staff