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Louise Parker’s globe-trotting take on the conventions – and constructions – of beauty. June 20, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , comments closed

Last year, when Foam announced the 10th edition of their annual, international talent call, they weren’t short of responses. The invitation – which was introduced by the gallery to identify and celebrate young artists shaping the future of photography through new trends, themes and developments demonstrated in their work – received a staggering 1,494 submissions from 75 different countries, stretched across six continents.

After a long selection process, the Foam jury declared a list of 24 talents as their 2016 winners. The selected photographers – all of whom are under the age of 35 – went on to appear alongside their work in Foam Magazine’s eminent autumn “Talent Issue”, as well having their images appear in the gallery’s travelling group exhibition. After completing in Amsterdam and New York, the Foam Talent instillation is now set to touch down in London for its UK leg, officially launching on May 18 at the Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall.

The collective exhibition – which is visiting London for only the second time – is made up of more than 100 photographs from the selected winners, installed alongside each other. It’s an eclectic, multifaceted assemblage of images and works, from a range of young photographers operating all over the world; be it Stefanie Moshammer’s enigmatic visual journey through the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Samuel Gratacap’s documentation of stranded migrants confined to Tunisian refugee camps, or model-turned-photographer Louise Parker’s globe-trotting take on the conventions – and constructions – of beauty.

Foam Talent due to run in London for a month, with a special opening by Dazed’s co-founder Jefferson Hack on May 17, 7pm. Keep an eye on Dazed Digital this week as we profile four on-the-rise talents.

Full List of Artists include: Sofia Ayarzagoitia (MX), Juno Calypso (UK), Bubi Canal (ES/US), Paolo Ciregia (IT), Sam Contis (US), Jack Davison (UK), Nicolo Degiorgis (IT), Katinka Goldberg (SE/NO), Andrea Grützner (DE), Samuel Gratacap (FR), Maxime Guyon (FR), Felicity Hammond (UK), Alexandra Hunts (UA/NL), Taejoong Kim (KR), Nico Krijno (ZA), Leo Maguire (UK), Stefanie Moshammer (AT), Andrés Felipe Orjuela (CO), Antonio Ottomanelli (IT), Daan Paans (NL), Louise Parker (US), Andrejs Strokins (LV), Ilona Szwarc (PL/US) and Daisuke Yokota (JP)

Foam Talent London opens on May 18 at Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, 22 Newport Street, London, SE11 6AY

Joost Bakker Eco Warrior and Gentle Rebel Story by contributor Paul Best Photos Nic Walker June 20, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : AFR Magazine , comments closed

Photo of Joost Bakker by Nic Walker

Sharing a fascinating story from Paul Best in The Australian Financial Magazine with great photos by Nic Walker.

An amazing journalistic read in a great magazine.


On a nippy autumn afternoon, Joost Bakker has brought Paul Best to the township of Kallista, nestled in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne, to reveal the site of his next big thing: the spot, no less, where he hopes to change the world.

Right now, it doesn’t look like much – a vacant lot, ringed by chain-link fencing, where once was a service station. Amid the weeds, a cracked concrete driveway serves as the only reminder that petrol was last sold here nine years ago. It’s taken most of the time since then to decontaminate the brownfield site.

Come February, the 1000-square-metre block will begin to transform. A multi-level house will arise, constructed from a modular steel frame packed with straw bales and glass. Its designer, Joost Bakker, calls the concept “future cave”.

The off-grid, self-sustaining structure will feature solar panels, a nine-metre atrium with an aquaponic system, and soil-loaded green roofs, one of which will be cantilevered.

The house will produce enough organic food to sustain the project’s human guinea pigs, chefs Matt Stone and his partner Jo Barrett, for a whole year. A worm farm will be housed in the reconditioned underground tanks, converting organic waste into nutrient-enriched soil.

And if you know this 43-year-old Dutch-born environmental evangelist at all, you’ll know that soil is everything.

“I want to prove the point that a building can nourish the people who live in it. Not only provide shelter and energy but nourish them,” Bakker emphasises, his clear blue eyes holding a steady gaze. “And I want to see what that diet looks like.”

It’s still in the planning stages, but the year-long experiment will be the subject of a documentary by Madman Entertainment. At the same time, Stone and Barrett’s daily existence, living off the crops they grow and the meals that result, will be shared on social media. The CSIRO is on board too, putting their diet under the microscope.

The “New Holland” project is much more than a social and scientific investigation. It goes to the heart of what makes this maverick florist-cum-artist tick. It represents the latest battlefront in Bakker’s decade-long crusade that has helped to raise awareness about the waste we generate and the need to live sustainably but has yet to realise his underlying ambition of turning our cities and villages into urban farms.

“The system needs to change,” Bakker says over lunch in Monbulk, a short drive from Kallista, where he lives with his wife Jennie and their three daughters. It’s here that he built his first house in 2006 from reclaimed and reclaimable materials. He runs a floristry business from Monbulk, with more than 300 plant species across 2.4 hectares, as well as selling eggs from his chickens.

While his home’s biophilic design has generated interest, Bakker shot to prominence in 2008, capturing the public’s imagination with Greenhouse by Joost, a three-month pop-up restaurant and event space in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

Built from recycled and recyclable materials, the structure featured an exposed straw-bale ceiling, a vertical wall of strawberry plants and a rooftop garden supplying the restaurant. A second Greenhouse sprang up the following year in Perth and another in 2011 at The Rocks in Sydney, both featuring Bakker’s trademark vertical gardens in pots.

In 2012, the restaurant was reprised for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, which infamously harvested guests’ urine to fertilise mustard seed, the oil from which could be used to power the venue.

Later that year, Bakker opened nearby Silo, Australia’s first waste-free restaurant, which composted anything that wasn’t eaten. The venue morphed into Brothl, a soup canteen that used bones and other leftovers from restaurants including the high-profile Attica and Rockpool.

Bakker has also designed and built a family home in the Victorian township of Daylesford, as well as a fire-resistant house at Kinglake in 2014, five years after that town was devastated by bushfires.

“Joost is this big-picture, big-concept guy who understood the imperative of these large public arenas to push his thought-provoking concepts into the public eye,” says designer Georgina O’Connor, who has computer-modelled and helped pitch Bakker’s key projects and will again turn his sketches of New Holland into three-dimensional, computer-rendered drawings.

He’s very charismatic and can portray ideas well,” says artist David Bromley, whose work hung in the first Greenhouse and still graces Bakker’s walls at home. And Rockpool Dining Group’s Neil Perry has credited Bakker with influencing the way restaurants think about food production and waste.

International following

Photo Nic Walker

The eco-warrior has established a following abroad, too. High-profile chefs including Sat Bains in Nottingham, René Redzepi at Copenhagen’s Noma and Alex Atala from D.O.M. in São Paulo are among his legion of fans (the latter two installing a closed-loop composting system after seeing it at Silo).

In Melbourne, Attica’s patron chef Ben Shewry is another fan. “We’re of a similar mindset, learning things from one another,” he says. “Joost always has a new idea.”

But Bakker’s radical thinking started at a much earlier age. Growing up on the family’s flower and bulb farm (Joop and Lia Bakker and their four sons had migrated to Australia in 1982), he recalls becoming obsessed from the age of 12 with the environment, the wasteful way in which we live and the inefficient design of housing, in particular.

When he later established his floristry business, supplying Melbourne’s hospitality industry, Bakker began making his trademark, striking floral installations from found objects and upcycled materials. Even when some of Australia’s biggest companies invited him to design their marquees for the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s exclusive Birdcage at Flemington, his designs were based on reusing and repurposing materials.

In 2005, the same year Bakker created a striking chandelier for Lexus out of reconstituted wine glasses filled with peonies, he designed Macquarie Bank’s entire enclosure from recycled material, including used tyres and old packing cases.

“The CEO [Allan Moss] walked in and said, ‘What the f— is this?’,” Bakker recalls. Fortunately, the overall response was “how refreshing” and he was invited back the next year.

Getting his projects off the ground is no small feat. Bakker funds them from his 25-year-old floristry business and, to a lesser degree, from his wife’s nursery concern, as well as from income generated by his major projects. Recent creations include the central display for Neil Perry at April’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony, another for Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden and the Lexus Melbourne Cup marquee, which he has designed for the past three years.

Bakker earns royalties from the Schiavello Vertical Garden, too, which he designed more than a decade ago and updated last year.

But his big-ticket projects, such as Greenhouse, have proved costly. For his first Greenhouse he had to borrow funds after taking a $300,000 financial hit, and he lost another $200,000 on Greenhouse Sydney (the harbourside venture totalled $1 million).

“Joost is a little like me, he doesn’t care about the financial side, he’s not motivated by money,” says Shewry.

Bakker says he dissolved his construction partnership with former Skilled Group chief executive Greg Hargrave over a difference of direction after building the Kinglake house, which featured on Grand Designs Australia. “Greg wanted to build this big business but I pulled the pin because I couldn’t get my head around that,” he says.

It is not the only project that didn’t go to plan. Proposals for temporary Greenhouses in Milan, London’s Trafalgar Square and Istanbul have been shelved. Even the Victorian Racing Club, which introduced sustainable practices thanks to Bakker, knocked back Greenhouse at Flemington before the concept launched in Federation Square.

Georgina O’Connor says almost as many projects don’t get up as do. For example, a plan for Melbourne’s Eastland Shopping Centre to create nutrient-rich soil from its restaurants’ composted organic waste did not go ahead. “It shows his level of persistence [that he keeps trying],” she muses.

“If it doesn’t come, it stings a little,” says Bromley. “People don’t realise how much bloody work goes into manifesting these things.”

Over a lunch of Dutch cheeses, his wife’s pickled cucumbers and a hearty soup he’s put together from garden produce, Bakker has an undeniable presence. His good looks and 193-centimetre frame help, but it is his brain in full flight that sparks your curiosity.

He is knowledgeable, articulate and draws effortlessly on a plethora of resources, quoting study after study and peppering our discussion with facts and figures to support his arguments. One minute he is calculating how many potatoes you could harvest twice a year from a 200-sq m roof and what they’d earn (18,000 kilograms, worth about $100,000). The next, he’s damning modern farming, the lack of nutrients in our soil and diet, as well as mechanical harvesting, which he blames for gluten intolerance.

Bakker bemoans, too, that food is harvested from soils no longer enriched by earthworms, which have billions of beneficial bacteria – their absence he believes has contributed to depression and anxiety.

At the same time, he advocates the health benefits of drinking bacteria-rich raw milk to stave off allergies and rolling your own oats, something he acknowledges he’s obsessed with. Like many before me, I get a personal demo of his Schnitzer Hand Oat Roller.

Later, Bakker shows me one of his “brain dumps”, a 2.5m board leaning against a wall, filled with his handwritten thoughts. “It helps visualise my ideas when I bring others in to work with me,” he says.

While there’s no doubting his passion and intelligence, you start to appreciate why he’s so difficult to pigeonhole. You have only to scan the range of epithets used to describe him in the media – anything from designer, builder and installation artist, prophet and polymath to sustainability campaigner, eco-warrior and creative disrupter. The New York Times famously described him as “the poster boy of zero-waste living”, and Vogue magazine a “discipline-crossing creative”.

Shewry views Bakker as an environmental activist and visionary. “Joost’s ahead of his time,” he says. “It’s not easy being forward-thinking.” Bromley comes up with a mix of mad scientist and day-dreamer, albeit one with his feet firmly planted “in the dirt” who believes anything is possible.

Bakker puts down his occupation as “artist” when required. It’s what he says he would have been had his family not migrated to Australia. In Holland, a well-known landscape painter, Jan Hollenberg, taught the young Joost about light and shadow, texture and landscape, concepts that are central to his work today. Bakker says he flirted with the idea of an artistic career after holding a number of solo exhibitions in the early 2000s.

Guests at the Lexus Design Pavilion in the Birdcage wouldn’t argue. In 2015, Bakker’s giant bird’s nest, made from recycled and rusted wire, and his ceiling decorated with hundreds of tulips, were an artistic marvel. Lexus’ luxury marquee in 2014 featured a riotous canopy of roses floating above guests seated at the 48-seat Attica pop-up restaurant.

Artistic eye

“Joost has a great eye for creating beautiful work and for design and artistic implementation,” says Miriam Fanning, principal of Mim Design, who collaborated with Bakker on the 2014 and 2015 Lexus pavilions. “He understands all formats of design, not just installation and sustainability but inbuilt structures and building a structure himself, which makes him unique.”

The florist, though, is never far away. Bakker says he doesn’t try to imitate nature: “I just allow it to exist in whatever it is that I create.” He was once told his buildings aren’t buildings but “vessels for nature to exist”.

However, Blue Hill Farm chef Dan Barber in New York, whom Bakker inspired to set up WastED, a pop-up committed to reusing food leftovers and by-products, sees more of the revolutionary in Bakker.

“He’s an artist as change-maker,” says Barber. “Rarely have I met someone so preternaturally talented that he also changes the culture with his work.”

But change doesn’t come easily. Nor, for all his charisma, charm and can-do attitude, is everyone easily won over.

“He’s flying in the face of conventional process,” declares Bromley, who adds there’s a bit of the “ratbag” to Bakker – the same guy who has worked the Birdcage in T-shirt, jeans and Blundstones when everyone else is dressed to the nines. “I don’t think people will openly throw a pie in his face but sometimes I think [one] is thrown loosely in his direction that diminishes some of the outcomes.”

In early 2015, the City of Melbourne served an eviction notice on Brothl, after a two-year stoush over the location of the restaurant’s composter. Two years earlier, the council had vetoed Bakker’s proposal to install a sizeable rooftop farm atop the National Australia Bank’s former head office in Collins Street, which would have required a change to height limits in the CBD.

Even a long-time collaborator like Matt Stone, whom Bakker first employed to helm the kitchen at Greenhouse Perth, wasn’t sold, at first. “I needed to be convinced, when this crazy Dutch guy approaches you to open a restaurant that is a box covered in plants, built from recycled and recyclable materials, that’s going to grow its own food,” Stone recalls.

“But Joost makes you believe what he’s trying to tell you, regardless of how crazy it sounds. Although you’ll always get sceptics who think it’s impossible to live and create a lifestyle in that way.”

In fact, the person hardest on Bakker is Bakker himself. Surprisingly, given all the plaudits and renown, he wishes Greenhouse hadn’t been a restaurant. The message – that we need our buildings to provide for us and feed us – was lost, he says. The revolution he’d truly hungered for hasn’t come about.

“My last three years [since Brothl closed] have been my toughest,” he admits. “I became incredibly depressed even though I got all this publicity for my restaurants … journalist after journalist writing about the food and zero waste and composting, but no one writing about a building that grows food.”

Despite his misgivings, Bakker is sanguine about the forthcoming project. As with his previous initiatives, he and his wife will fund most of it but this time around he is hoping to build the first of five planned houses on the Kallista site for a manageable $200,000.

Central to the project’s success will be the dishes Stone and Barrett cook up. “I want it to be the most exciting food I’ve ever seen and for people to say, ‘Wow, this could be the future’,” Bakker says. “If the food looks shit and unappetising, then we’re lost.”

He is hoping to involve more chefs in time, including David Thompson, Neil Perry and Heston Blumenthal.

New Holland will be open-source to encourage engagement. Anyone will be able to monitor data, such as crop yields and costs, in real-time. “There’s no intellectual property with the project,” Bakker says. “I’m hoping to inspire others to be involved, I want to see the idea evolve.”

He says his future cave design – which Lexus allowed him to use on its Birdcage pavilion last year to help him refine his design – purposefully uses common, recyclable materials that can be sourced and simply constructed anywhere in the world.

Bakker is heartened by the growing numbers of households converting to solar energy, the rise of medium-density housing on blocks previously occupied by a single dwelling, and the increase in sales of supplies in bulk that require less packaging.

“It’s about community, about connection and change on a micro level,” he says.

AFR Contributor

Read more: http://www.afr.com/brand/luxury/how-ecowarrior-joost-bakker-wants-to-change-our-lives-one-scrap-at-a-time-20170422-gvqfm3#ixzz4k97iKOw7
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Vichy : Liu Bolin, Artist of Camouflage and Confrontation June 20, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Loeildelaphotographie, Metaphor Online , comments closed

Master of camouflage, Liu Bolin uses his body to literally melt into his chosen background and produce some amazing photos. For more than ten years, this artist who seems to pass through walls has used the same modus operandi. With the help of his assistants who paint him from head to toe, he hides in supermarket shelves, the door of a safe, a pile of coal, a newspaper kiosk display. This rare retrospective of his work enables the public to discover his spectacular images, which are also works of resistance. In becoming this “invisible man” who shows up where he is not expected, Liu Bolin affirms his stubborn and insubordinate presence in a world that tends to deny the uniqueness of everyone’s destiny.

Liu Bolin is represented by the Paris Beijing gallery in Paris.



Liu Bolin, camouflage et contestation
Fifth edition of the Portrait(s) festival
The City of Vichy’s photographic rendezvous
From 16th June to 10th September 2017
Outdoor exhibition, Lac d’Allier Esplanade


Magnum Manifesto June 15, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Magnum, Metaphor Images , comments closed

NEW YORK, NY (APRIL 21, 2017) — The International Center of Photography (ICP), the world’s leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture, continues its designated “Year of Social Change” with Magnum Manifesto, which celebrates the 70th anniversary of the renowned Magnum Photos collective. Premiering at the ICP Museum (250 Bowery, New York, NY) on May 26, the landmark exhibition underscores ICP’s long-standing connection to concerned photography and the social and historic impact of the medium as a whole.

“When you look through the Magnum archive, you cannot help but feel a mixture of jubilation and vertigo.

The vast collection of images and information amassed over the seven decades since the creation of the cooperative—the great events of the day, together with the commonplace facts and deeds of everyday life, the laughter, the violence, moments of magic or of symbolic signi cance, and even representations of abstract thought—potentially it contains all the histories of the world,” says Chéroux. “Magnum Manifesto points to how vast the exploitable elds covered by the collection are. It offers a small reconstruction of the entire range of human experience and shows that Magnum is a world in itself.”

The exhibition is organized into three main parts:
• Part I: 1947–1968: “Human Rights and Wrongs” views the Magnum archive through a humanist lens, focusing on post-war ideals of commonality and utopianism. A centerpiece of this section will be the Paul Fusco series, RFK Funeral Train.

• Part II: 1969–1989: “An Inventory of Differences” shows a world fragmenting, with a focus on subcultures, minorities, and outsiders. This section features images from a range of photographers, including Danny Lyon and Susan Meiselas.

• Part III: 1990–2017: “Stories about Endings” charts the ways in which Magnum photographers have captured—and continue to capture—a world in flux and under threat, from Thomas Dworzak’s images of the Taliban to Donovan Wyle’s Maze series, and very recent photos such as those from Alessandra Sanguinetti in the aftermath of the Nice terrorist attacks.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Slovakia. Zehra. 1967. Gypsies.

Magnum Manifesto features group and individual projects and includes more than 250 prints and 300 projected photographs, as well as more than 130 objects—books, magazines, videos, and rarely-seen archival documents. Among many others, it incorporates the work of Christopher Anderson, Jonas Bendiksen, Henri Cartier- Bresson, Cornell and Robert Capa, Chim, Raymond Depardon, Bieke Depoorter, Elliott Erwitt, Martine Franck, Leonard Freed, Paul Fusco, Cristina Garcia Rodero, Burt Glinn, Jim Goldberg, Joseph Koudelka, Sergio Larrain, Susan Meiselas, Wayne Miller, Martin Parr, Marc Riboud, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Eugene W. Smith, Alec Soth, Chris Steele-Perkins, Dennis Stock, Mikhael Subotzky, and Alex Webb.

ICP’s presentation of Magnum Manifesto is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Prestigious Photo Agency Magnum to Receive Outside Investment June 15, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Magnum, Metaphor Online , comments closed

Prestigious Photo Agency Magnum to Receive Outside Investment

Jun 13, 2017
A year ago when photographers with Magnum Photos met in London to select the new members, associates and nominees who would be joining the prestigious agency, they also approved a new plan and structure that would bring—for the first time in Magnum’s history—a capital injection from outside investors.

The investment—the exact amount of which is undisclosed—comes from Nicole Junkermann and Jörg Mohaupt, two media experts who have financed over the years various technology ventures. The pair will join the board of what will be named Magnum Global Ventures, alongside Magnum CEO David Kogan and four members of the agency.

Magnum Global Ventures will be a subsidiary of Magnum Photos International, the cooperative owned by the agency’s 91 photographers and estates. And while the photographers will retain control over their intellectual property (including the copyright over all of their work), the new structure will assume control of the agency’s assets—from its offices in Paris, London, New York and Tokyo to its staff.

The deal, which Kogan started engineering in the months following his appointment as CEO three years ago, is designed to help Magnum grow in an ever-changing digital landscape. “We need to be able to experiment and take risk to do interesting stuff with our photographers,” Kogan tells TIME. “You have to keep up with all the technological changes and the means of showing the work.” But, he adds, for the last 70 years, Magnum has been a business “that’s full or risk,” with cash flow and debt issues. In the past, Magnum has mostly relied on a volatile editorial market for most of its revenues.

Less than 10 years ago, for example, the agency owed its own photographers hundreds of thousands of dollars, forcing it to sell some of its assets such as its physical archives, which were acquired by Michael Dell’s investment firm and donated to the Harry Ransom Center.

In recent years, Magnum, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary, found new ways to inject capital in the agency through its insanely popular Instagram print sales and the development of new educational events and workshops. But, Kogan says, “that doesn’t help us grow quickly enough or innovate fast enough.” To him, outside investment was the logical next step. “There’s a complete logic to trying to find other forms of financing,” he tells TIME.

Meanwhile, Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak believes the move will preserve the agency’s independence, while at the same time “allowing outside investments that will help us to better photograph, document, the confusing world we are in now.”

David Kogan, CEO of Magnum Photos commented:

“Magnum Photos celebrates its 70th anniversary with the creation of a company that allows us to plan for the future. We are already creating new opportunities for the photographers and the business of Magnum.

“Our two new investors have stellar backgrounds in the global sectors of media, music, intellectual property and technology. We welcome them for their expertise and know that they can add a huge amount to the development of the agency.”

Nicole Junkermann said: “I will never forget seeing a Magnum photograph of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. It captured a moment in history so powerfully that it has left a lasting impression on me.

The deal was approved by all 91 stakeholders, who will vote next week for the four agency representatives to join the board of the new subsidiary.


The Spirit of Hong Kong Photos by Master Photographer Fan Ho June 14, 2017

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Fan Ho’s haunting black-and-white photos chronicling old Hong Kong show how much the city has changed since the 1950s. In some ways, however, many of the scenes remain familiar to Hong Kong people today.

“The city’s architecture, the political landscape has indeed transformed a few times over, but the struggle of the grassroots remains the same,” said Ho’s long-time collaborator Sarah Greene of Blue Lotus Gallery and Consultancy. “The poor are still poor.”

Ho documented the street life of Hong Kong throughout his career as a photographer, offering a glimpse of the lives of city-dwellers with his moody images that were carefully composed with the use of light, shadow, and the contours of architecture. His works earned a great deal of attention and also helped launched his career as a film director until he retired at 65.

“In my memory, there has always been a deep yearning of Hong Kong. I particularly miss the location I like to photograph the most—Central Hong Kong,” Ho said in a 2014 interview, referring to the city’s main business district that is also chock full of winding alleyways, wet markets, and street vendors.

More than 30 photographs by the late Ho are being shown this month by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong at an exhibition entitled Visual Dialogues: Hong Kong Through the Lens of Fan Ho, together with the launch of his new book Fan Ho: Portrait of Hong Kong.

Ho was born in Shanghai in 1931 and moved to Hong Kong with his parents in 1949, the year the Chinese Communist Party won the civil war. He began taking pictures with a Kodak Brownie camera from his father when he was 10 years old. The hobby became more serious when Ho turned 18 and his father gave him a twin lens Rolleiflex camera, which he used for the rest of his career.

The photographer moved to San Jose, California with his family in the 1980s and passed away there in June 2016 at the age of 84. He visited Hong Kong for the last time in November 2014.


Heritage expert Winnie Yeung, who arranged Ho’s last trip to Hong Kong for a heritage project, said rather than being records of history, Ho’s photographs were artistic works through which he conveyed his feelings towards Hong Kong and its people.

“He had a tremendous amount of empathy towards the hardship that [the people] faced, and admiration towards their tenacity and can-do spirit—the qualities that characterized Hong Kong for generations,” said Yeung. “[He was] an absolutely brilliant and profound genius.”

The Necks at the Rosemount Hotel for Tura New Music Photos Bohdan Warchomij June 11, 2017

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Australian trio The Necks exist in a nebulous, spectral realm at the crossroads between free improv, jazz and a deconstructed form of music that is most remarkable because it is experimental, unpredictable and quite radical.  The audience at the Rosemount enjoyed two album-length tracks that progressed in minute detail and with surprising twists and turns throughout the two half performance. Many of the audience had seen the Necks on numerous occasions and were happy to be surprised by yet another two tracks that were novel and evolutionary.

Death of the Original Batman June 11, 2017

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Adam West, who donned a cape, cowl and tights to became an overnight sensation in 1966 as the star of the campy “Batman” TV series, has died, according to a family statement. He was 88.

West, who later lamented being typecast as the iconic Caped Crusader but eventually embraced having been part of American pop culture, died Friday in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia, according to multiple reports.

A former Warner Bros. contract player, West was appearing in TV commercials in the mid-1960s to help pay the rent. But several commercials he did for Nestle’s Quik chocolate powder — parodies of the popular James Bond movies in which West played a dry-witted character called Captain Q — had an unexpected outcome.

They caught the attention of 20th Century Fox TV producer William Dozier, who was looking for someone to star as Gotham City millionaire Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego, Batman, in a farcical new series for ABC.

Based on the DC character created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger in 1939, “Batman” debuted in January 1966 as a twice-weekly half-hour program — 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the Wednesday episode ending on a cliffhanger.

West knew his life would never be the same the night the heavily promoted first episode aired.

“I stopped at the market on the way home,” he told Esquire magazine in 2004. “I thought, ‘Tonight, I just want to be alone. I’ll stop, get a steak and a six pack, whatever, then go home and watch the debut of the show.’

“As I walked through the checkout line, I heard people saying, ‘C’mon, c’mon, hurry up. “Batman” is coming on!’ And I said to myself, ‘Goodbye, anonymity.’ ”



The tongue-in-cheek series roared into public consciousness like the Batmobile out of the Batcave.

With West as the strait-laced crime fighter who spoke with what has been described as ironic earnestness and Burt Ward as his youthfully exuberant sidekick, Robin, “Batman” was a pop culture phenomenon in a decade that was full of them.

“This whole thing is an insane, mad fantasy world,” West said of the show in a Chicago Daily News interview shortly before its debut. “And my goal is to become American’s biggest put-on.”

It was high camp indeed, with fight scenes punctuated by comic book-style “POW!” “BOP!” and “WHAP!” exclamations flashing on the screen and an array of guest-star villains that included Frank Gorshin as the Riddler, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin, Cesar Romero as the Joker and Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.

West quickly learned the key to slipping into the Batman persona.

“You pull on the mask and the utility belt and the gloves, and you must believe the moment that’s done that you really are Batman,” West said in a late 1980s interview on TV’s “Entertainment Tonight.”

“What I loved about Batman was his total lack of awareness when it came to his interaction with the outside world,” West told London’s Independent newspaper in 2005. “He actually believed nobody could recognize him on the phone, when he was being Bruce Wayne, even though he made no attempt to disguise his voice.”

In the first episode of the series, he recalled, “Batman goes into a nightclub in the cowl, cape and bat gloves. When the maitre d’ says: ‘Ringside table, Batman?’ he replies, ‘No thank you. I’ll stand at the bar. I would not wish to be conspicuous.’ ”

In June 1966, The Times reported that “Batman” had been a “life-transforming” success for West: Fan mail was arriving “by the wagonsful” — as were requests for everything from personal appearances to locks of his hair.

But West, The Times said, had “no panic about becoming solely and totally identified with the caped role.”

“I love doing the show, and frankly it’s given me more identification than any three movies could have,” West told The Times. “What I’ve got to feel is that if I can make a success of this characterization, I can make a success of other characterizations.”

The Surreal Experiments with double exposures on film of Polina Washington June 7, 2017

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I took a very simple, old Soviet LOMO camera and loaded it with film. I reasoned that there are two ways to create multiple exposure work on 35mm film—either by using a special mode on your camera, or just load and shoot one film roll twice. With the LOMO, I used the latter method because it had no multiple exposure mode. Working like this was different from my Nikon—I had to shoot the whole roll and then go through it again afresh, meaning I lost control. As it was impossible for me to remember what I had shot in each frame, the resulting combinations were a consistent surprise.

It ended up taking me several months to finish exposing one roll twice. After developing it, my risk was affirmed. Some of the pictures were completely new and far divorced from the objects I shot.And for many of the combinations, I felt that they could not have existed in any other variation. Really, in the end, I felt that the bestcombinations had occurred.

I also soaked the film in various substances to increase the surreal feeling in the images. My technique was very spontaneous, I would use whatever I could get my hands on: lemon juice, detergent, wine, etc. Again, the results were a pleasant mystery. Even when I found a combination I liked, I chose to mix the ingredients without marking down my recipes—part of the continual experiment and the surprise.

I suppose the process for “Bloom” could be seen as unprofessional. But I prefer to look at it as risky and thus exciting. I never could have imagined that my images would look like this. Soaking the film could destroy it all—but if even one image came out well, it was worth it. As they say: the battle is worth the blood.

Technical aspects aside, “Bloom” is about colors and forms, about the subtle matters that surround us. It is about feelings. I believe that we “see” only the tiniest part of the whole world—we are not taught to see “deeper.” All the unseen forces—their vibrations and energies—affect us and our lives. Tuning into these forces is a necessity if we want to be a part of the world.

—Polina Washington


WA Day Celebrations Photos Bohdan Warchomij June 5, 2017

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