The Promise is book two in Vasantha Yogananthan’s ambitious seven-book project, A Myth of Two Souls. Inspired by the epic story The Ramayana, which was written by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki in around 300 BC, The Myth will retrace The Ramayana’s route from North to South India, and show scenes from everyday life that evoke its imagery. Yogananthan is producing one book for each chapter of the original story; he started the project with a book called Early Times, which helped him win the ICP Infinity Award Emerging Photographer of the Year. Book two, The Promise, has been nominated for the 2017 Author Book Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles (along with image-makers such as Antoine Agata, JH Engstrom, and Roe Ethridge). Throughout The Myth, Yogananthan is working with three different types of image – landscapes, hand-painted staged portraits, and illustrated black-and-white photographs. The hand-painting is done on large-format black-and-white photographs by Indian artist Jaykumar Shankar. In the illustrated photographs, he has been working with two artists specialising in the tradition of Madhubani painting. “In Yogananthan’s hands, The Ramayana story becomes a …
Catherine Hyland’s fascination with landscape is the inspiration behind her otherworldly large format images depicting humanity’s attempts – some more effective than others – to tame the environment. It’s an observation that has led to both artistic and commercial commissions, with residencies at venues such as the Focal Point Gallery in Southend for the Radical Essex programme, the Cultural Association Su Palatu Fotografia in Sardinia and the Design Museum in London. She has also made a short documentary for the Sri Lanka Design Festival on the country’s eco-factories.
David Campany’s celebrated exhibition, A Handful of Dust, traces the 20th century history of photography through this seemingly humble substance; as the show finally comes to London, we revisit the article on it he wrote for BJP back in 2015
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 …
This year’s edition of the biennial photography festival Format foregrounds work that describes the world around us at a specific moment in history. Habitat is a broad and yet provocative theme, one that is designed to interrogate not only our physical surroundings such as land, sea, plants, other humans and wildlife, but a range of less tangible and often more visually evasive things – the digital and political worlds, for example, or mass migration – which nevertheless have considerable repercussions on our lives. “I wanted to offer up experiences concerning the complexity of our existence on the planet,” says festival director Louise Clements, interviewed for the March 2017 issue of BJP. “Climate, migration, technology: they all seem to be accelerating and the consequences are quite momentous. We are impacting the geology of Earth. It was important to me to do something vital. As a festival, we’re not just here to celebrate the achievements of the artists; we also want to have some kind of impact.” Work by more than 300 artists and photographers will be …
The artist is showing new work at the Roman Road gallery, in an exhibition called TYO2-LDN4, which gathers together images made in the last year in London and Tokyo, always at night. Cairns started the original LDN project in London in 2008, and exhibited the work at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2013; he went on to publish an ebook, LDN EI, which used hacked Kindle e-readers to present deliberately damaged analogue prints in electronic ink. In 2015, Cairns was awarded the prestigious Hariban award, which allowed him to learn about the collotype printing process at the Benrido Collotype Atelier in Kyoto. In this exhibition he’s showing his LDN4 Collotype Glass Plates, plus the same images printed on Japanese Gampi paper. He is also showing photographs from Tokyo petrified on Kindle screens removed from the original reader. The exhibition is open until 22 April 2017; a retrospective of his work in London, Tokyo, Osaka, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, which includes a text by Tate Modern’s Simon Baker, will be published this year by Morel Books. www.antony-cairns.co.uk www.romanroad.com
The director of the Musee des beaux-arts, le Locle shares what made this year for her – and what she’s looking forward to
Shot on the salt pans of Botswana and reworked in the dark room, Chloe Sell’s latest series is a meditation on the cyclical nature of life
Marking the twenty-year anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty from British rule, a new exhibition at Impressions Gallery explores the entwined histories of China and the UK, traced through the family history of photographer Kurt Tong.
In January and February 1991, as the United States–led coalition drove Iraqi forces out of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein’s troops retaliated with an inferno. As the desperate efforts to contain and extinguish the conflagration progressed, Sebastião Salgado traveled to Kuwait to witness the crisis firsthand.