“You should get into the habit of looking above eye-level while walking,” says American photographer Brian Kanagaki. “It’s much more beautiful than looking down at the dirty street and trash.” Golden Persimmons, shot over a period of six years, captures geometric subjects in ambiguous environments; spanning over eight countries (though predominantly New York), the brutally black and white images take inspiration from the graphic, organic shapes found in cities globally.
The project began when the design director got lost while taking a shortcut in his hometown, San Francisco. “It was funny to get lost in a city that I thought I knew so well,” he says. “I ended up driving around and finding so many new things that got my mind working.” One of which was decorative trees in people’s front gardens, the original basis for the series. But after moving to New York and spending time travelling, the idea quickly evolved to focus on tying the world together by capturing its mundane similarities.
When you Google Bobby Doherty, staff photographer at New York Magazine, the words “film,” “35mm,” and “vertical” repeatedly come up. But since being commissioned for editorial, the New York based artist has focused his time on producing digital still life photography. “Now I’m known for doing super digital studio stuff, which is cool because I like making that kind of work; but it’s nice to be able to step away from the studio and live outside,” he says. “I like taking photos all the time – it’s nice not to have to worry about the technical aspect and just go out with a camera and film.”
In October 2017, Oliver Chanarin, a photographer professor at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, printed an archival photograph onto cardboard in his office, and left it on display for his job share partner Adam Broomberg. The next week, his colleague printed an image on top of the photograph. This exchange happened several times, ultimately creating unprompted photomontages. “I left a sample for Adam, as a little gift,” says Chanarin, who was born in London but grew up in South Africa as a child to South African parents. “That’s how it began; as a conversation in images printed on cardboard.”
Has anything improved since Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? The fact that women make up just 15.5% of the artists’ files on Wikipedia suggests not. According to L’Observatoire de l’Egalite, only 30% of the artists exhibited in galleries are women, even though more than 60% of art students in France are women.
Even so, there is some cause for optimism – as French photographer Vincent Ferrané points out. “Of the top 500 contemporary artists in 2017 [in France], only 14% of women,” he says. “But 30% of those were born after 1980.”
Titled XO, Josh Adam Jones’ graduation project investigates expatriate communities in Oman. “I had informed myself about Middle Eastern culture and the social landscape in the country before visiting, so upon arrival I was eager to embrace everything I was presented with,” he says. “The atmosphere was hugely welcoming, albeit stiflingly hot.”
Born in Cheltenham in 1995, and a recent documentary photography graduate from the University of the West of England, Jones says his inquisitive nature pushed him towards social documentary photography. “I like meeting people, so looking outwards, as opposed to photographing my own ‘backyard’, always felt natural,” he says. “Images have a wonderful potency that other mediums cannot quite match.”
“Plankton are intriguing and beautiful creatures,” says Japanese photographer Ryo Minemizu. “They symbolise how precious life is by their tiny existence.”
He’s been shooting plankton for 20 years, spending between two and eight hours underwater everyday recording the tiny creatures, which can be plants, animals, or other types of organism. Drifting in the ocean, unable to swim against the current, plankton are the most abundant life form on earth after bacteria, but measuring 2mm-40mm in size, are invisible to the naked eye. Minemizu has registered his own technique to photograph them, which he’s called Black Water Dive, and which involves setting a stage underwater using flashes and other forms of lighting.
Born in Barcelona in 1971, Txema Salvans is still based in the Catalan capital, and specialises in making documentary work about Spain and the Spanish people. He is best known for his book The Waiting Game , which showed lone women, presumably prostitutes, waiting by the sides of roads along the Mediterranean coast. Salvans spent six years shooting this project, and recently published The Waiting Game II , a series showing fisherman on the Mediterranean coast, waiting for the fish to bite. In 2010 he published Nice to Meet You, also shot along the Mediterranean, a book of ‘family photos’ in which some of those shown weren’t family.
His new book, My Kingdom, recently published by Mack Books, originally grew out of Nice to Meet You, and shows Spanish people and families relaxing on the Mediterranean coast. Its title is taken from a speech by King Juan Carlos I, however, who ruled Spain from 22 November 1975 – 19 June 2014, and extracts from his speeches run throughout the book. It is, says Salvans, a book about power rather than about Spain, the Spanish, or King Juan Carlos I. BJP caught up with him to find out more.
Founded in 1997 the Pingyao International Photography Festival is China’s most prestigious photo festival, featuring images from more than 50 countries each year in indoor and outdoor venues across the UNESCO-listed ancient city. This year it includes a huge exhibition called Distinctly, which is curated by Open Eye Gallery’s Tracy Marshall and which will travel to Merseyside in 2019 as one of the main exhibitions of LOOK International Photo Biennial.
Featuring work by 12 documentary photographers – Martin Parr, Chris Killip, Daniel Meadows, John Myers, Markéta Luskačová, Tish Murtha, Ken Grant, Paul Seawright, Niall McDiarmid, Robert Darch, Elaine Constantine, and Kirsty MacKay – the exhibition “takes a unique approach to the depiction of Britain and its distinct landscapes, industries, social and economic changes, cultural traditions, traits and events” over the last six decades says Marshall. “The exhibition looks at the gentle, the humorous, the starkness, the beauty, and the realities experienced and captured by the photographers around their lives living and working in Britain,” she adds.
“There is a term to describe the cultural ache that Koreans go through: Han. A complex intermingling of historical, collective and personal sorrow, acceptance of a bitter present, and a hope of a better future.” Introduced to the term by a North Korean defector, Herman Rahman decided to adopt it as the framing concept for his project of the same name.
Han traces the collective history of the notoriously closed regime of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, relying largely on archival imagery and found text to probe at the borders of a near-impenetrable subject. The work is an interrogation, not only of the secrecy of the North Korean state, but also of the nature of photography itself.
Born in Barcelona in 1984, Arnau Rovira Vidal first learnt photography from his father, a keen amateur with a darkroom set up at home. Initially studying film-making at university, Vidal devoted himself to still images two years ago when he moved to Madrid, taking courses at EFTI Centro Internacional de Fotografía y Cine and LENS Cursos de Fotografía y Cursos de Vídeo. He now specialises in shooting fantastical buildings and architecture, and is already making a name for himself, showing his abstracted series RE-FORM at Spanish festivals such as Pa-ta-ta and Mirades, and publishing his series on the new wave of building in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in titles such as Wired and GUP.
His new project, Fantasia Resorts, was shot in Orlando and shows the cartoonish holiday resorts of Disney World, a theme park which covers 65 square km and includes 33 different resorts.