Vasantha Yogananthan’s project ‘A Myth of Two Souls’ is a contemporary retelling of the ancient Indian epic poem ‘The Ramayana’, that takes viewers on a journey through fictional and historical stories retracing the route from north to south India of the legendary prince Rama and his adventures.
Yogananthan’s series draw inspiration from the imagery associated with this myth and its pervasiveness in everyday Indian life. “The idea is to carefully play on the illusion and the ambiguity of the photograph. I shoot local people who live in these ancient, historical places. I never ask them to wear props—but since the country’s traditions are so strong, it can be hard for viewers to understand whether the work was taken yesterday or 100 years ago.”
Vasantha Yogananthan – A Myth of Two Souls, book Early Times
‘A Myth of Two Souls’ will be published in seven photo books within 2016-2019, one per chapter of the tale. ‘Early Times’ is the 1st chapter. To date other two chapters are also available – the 2nd one ‘The Promise’ and the 3rd one ‘The Exile’. “Within each volume, though, everything will be different: the design, the typography, the materials used, the way the text and the images relate. I want to keep each chapter fresh and distinctive since the subjects are so different from one another.”
“My aim is to leave each person with their own possibilities of imagination when they flip through the pages of my book. I wanted to strike a balance between keeping the viewer engaged while leaving ample room for subjective interpretation. I was always intent on producing an object that could evoke something in the reader’s mind. This openness has its roots in the Ramayana itself. Unlike the Bible, there is no singular, definitive text of the poem. There are hundreds of Ramayanas that correspond to different regions, traditions, languages and more.”
The Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. First recorded by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki around 300 BC, ‘The Ramayana’ has many versions and has been constantly rewritten and reinterpreted through the ages, and continues to evolve today.
The main focus of the series are utility poles, but also a few plants winding around rectangular wire nets or wooden grates.
The photographer presents us two shots – one as a close-up with all the details where clearly could recognize the subject and one from a distance where the subject disappears and the innumerable cables, transformers and branches are converted into an abstract composition against a monochrome background.
“The main object of my work is not to manipulate the world, but the way of looking at it. It is important to me to leave the world the way it is. The only thing I do is to find a way to produce a perspective”
Andreas Gefeller – The Japan Series
‘The Japan Series’ originated on the occasion of the European Eyes on Japan project in which European photographers are invited each year to capture their impressions of this Far Eastern country on film.
“After the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, I found a blog about peacocks that were left in the evacuation zone, within the 20 km limit. I started imagining those peacocks, walking around the empty town with their beautiful wings spread. The image I had in my mind seemed so far away from what was going on in Fukushima. It was as if two different layers of images – the disaster scene and beautiful peacocks – were overlapping with each other without being unified…I started to see different layers in almost everything…”
Miho Kajioka -And, where did the peacocks go
The series is collected in a book but the 1st edition of only 50 copies is sold out.
Read here the feelings and emotions behind each of the photographs
“The cherry blossom is one of flowers that symbolizes the beginning of spring in Japan. When cherry trees are fully blossomed, they look magnificent. These trees are well treated and maintained carefully in order to protect them from disease and bugs. Therefore, their leaves keep their shape and are all balanced in size.
There is an old cherry tree in my garden. It has been left abandoned in adverse conditions for some time, and has been home to countless caterpillars and bugs. In autumn, when I picked up the leaves, I noticed a striking difference with the trees elsewhere. The leaves looked ugly; they were varied in size and bitten by bugs. There was no single leaf that retained its original figure.
I found this uniqueness to be striking. The rugged charm of the individual leaf, so different from the beauty of the flower, is my subject.”
Jungjin Lee‘s series ‘Thing’ – a glimpse into the floating secret world of ordinary objects.
Taking off from the items the features we have attributed them, they start living their own life. How it looks like?
Jungjin Lee succeeded to catch them at the moment when they liberated themselves from the substance and switched to another unknown dimension. Are they dreaming there? Or maybe playing? What’s on their mind? Definitely, it is a different intriguing state of being to which the photographer only introduce us and live it free to a viewer to sense on his/her own that rare experience.
After all as Albert Camus says ‘if we understood the enigmas of life, there would be no reason for art”.
The concept of Roels is that instead of being on a constant quest for making the perfect gelatin silver print, all printed versions of an image have value. His artistic vision is to show all of them, in one composition or as hundreds variations of one single negative.
Bruno V. Roels – A Palm Tree Is A Palm Tree Is A Palm Tree 1
Why exactly a palm tree is the main object? As the artist explains, because…
A palm tree is alike to all palm trees. They all look the same no matter of their location.
A palm tree is different from all the other palm trees . Depending on its location as a silent witness of the history, each one is shaped by the stories and events of the place.
A palm tree is a widely spread symbol in cultures around the world. It is commonly connected to victory, triumph, endurance, religion, hospitality, wealth, luxury, vacation, paradise.
A palm tree could be easily deconstructed and yet it still would be recognizable.
A palm tree gives freedom to himself to create own notions of photography and illustrate his point of view away from the “tyranny of camera viewfinders and rectangular boxes of enlarging papers”.
A palm tree is … – the story continues. And it is obvious that Bruno V. Roels loves stories.
These impressive images are poetical exploring of the heritage, landscapes and sanctuary sites of India. They capture rare moments and atmospheres and by no means are records of the modern daily colourful loud life of this exotic place.
‘The pale morning light fascinates the photographer and is intrinsic to the distinctive mysteriousness of her imagery, aided by her use of a panoramic camera for her photographs. Long exposure times create a slight mistiness in her black and white negatives that she later enlarges and adds sepia tones. Her photographic process results in breathtaking prints of tremendous depth ‘ (artist review – Bernheimer Fine Art Gallery)
“This is the atmosphere that I wanted to capture – these rare timeless yet evanescent moments. If you get up early enough in the morning or hop on a bus and seek out more remote places, you get rewarded with the magic side of this uniquely diverse country.”
The silent Michael Eastman‘s ‘Havana’ – a nostalgic trip to a faded glory, past grandeur and decaying prosperity.
‘Painterly in quality, these richly colored photographs are dramatically lit and exquisitely detailed. Though mostly devoid of people, they manage to capture contemporary Cuban life through suggestion: an empty chair, an ancient car, a decrepit hallway, a forgotten chandelier. The result is as eloquent as a love poem written to a city rich in history, culture, and feeling.’
In ‘Thirteen’, a series of 13 images, photographer Vee Speers explores the theme with the transformation from childhood to adolescence and the desire for independence.
The inspiration came from her personal experience with her youngest daughter during her thirteenth year and the result is a beautiful story of timeless portraits that symbolize the growing up from a child into a young woman.