Tuesday, 3 November 2009

International Discoveries II

If you happened to be in Houston during the next six/seven weeks, drop in by Fotofest to see the International Discoveries II exhibition. Press release attached.

I will be there for the opening and an artist talk on the 7th. See their website for details.

I have been so busy in the pass few weeks, I have completely neglected my blog. I shall hopefully be posting a few more posts after I return from the States. Lots of things in the pipeline.

International Discoveries II

November 5 - December 19, 2009

Houston, Texas


1113 Vine Street, Houston, Texas, USA

Wei Bi, Untitled, 2004

HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 - Spirit money for the souls of the deceased. Parisian children at a masquerade party. Japanese pine forests. Suburbs in northern Mexico. Memories of a Chinese prison. These are part of International Discoveries II, a new exhibit being unveiled by FotoFest in Houston, Texas.

International Discoveries II is the second exhibition in a series created by FotoFest in 2007 to showcase new contemporary talent discovered by FotoFest curatorial staff at photography events across the world. International Discoveries II opens November 5, 2009, 6 - 9pm at FotoFest, 1113 Vine Street in Houston, Texas. This exhibition is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm; Saturday noon – 5pm.

“Against the currents of instant replay and digital animations, International Discoveries gives voice to the complexities of still time and the beauty of the paper-based print,” says FotoFest’s lead curator Wendy Watriss. “It focuses our attention on the single image, an object or a single moment in life.”

Nine artists from four continents are featured in the exhibition: Wei Bi (China); Alejandro Cartegena (Mexico); Minstrel Kuik Ching Chieh (Malaysia and France); Christine Laptuta (Canada and the United States); Rizwan Mizra (United Kingdom); Vee Speers (Australia and France); Kurt Tong (United Kingdom and China); Takeshi Shikama (Japan); Mimi Youn (United Kingdom and Korea).

International Discoveries II reflects a simultaneous turning to the past and the future, which characterizes so much of contemporary photo-based art. The prints in the exhibit display the delicate formalism of 19th century palladium and platinum printing, the intimacy of the mid-20th century Polaroid process, and 21st century large-format inkjet technology.

These works are marked by a contemporary hybridism of form and content, mixing the modern technologies and social realities of industrial societies with the spirituality and sensibilities of more traditional cultures.

“The discovery and presentation of these artists is made possible by the recent emergence of photographic gatherings throughout the world and the current interconnections between international photography festivals, Biennials and commercial art fairs.” says Fred Baldwin, FotoFest Co-founder.

“The works in this exhibition have been selected over the past 15 months from photography events and portfolio reviews in Singapore (Singapore International Photography Festival, 2008); Daegu, Korea (Daegu Photo Biennal2008); Birmingham, England (Rhubarb-Rhubarb) ; Guangzhou, China (Guangzhou 2009 Photo Biennial); Paris, France (Paris Photo); Portland, Oregon (Photo Lucida); Mexico City, Mexico ( XII FotoBienial).”

Since its founding in 1983, FotoFest has been a leader in international exchange. In 2000, FotoFest was a principal force in the formation of the international Festival of Light (festivaloflight.net) network, uniting 22 festivals around the world from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Odense, Denmark, Montreal, Canada and Moscow, Russia. FotoFest’s well-known Meeting Place portfolio review for artists has been replicated by events in 20 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Australia. The International Discoveries series is a product of these international interconnections and collaborations between festivals.

International Discoveries II is on view at FotoFest, 1113 Vine Street, Houston, Texas 77002,

Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday noon-5pm. Admission to FotoFest exhibitions is free.

For more information on FotoFest Exhibitions and other programs, please visit www.fotofest.org.

For further information, interviews and visuals, please contact:

Vinod Hopson, FotoFest Press Officer, T: 713.223.5522 ext 26, E: press3@fotofest.org

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Matt Stuart

Back when I first started my MA, we were given 3 'assignments' each week, people at work, people at home etc... I was never very good at them as I could never get into/ get excited about something that I wasn't interest in shooting. Two of those weeks in particular were street photography, which I absolutely hated. Besides being not very good at it, it was in January. Standing on the street freezing cold and aimlessly looking for moments was just not a lot of fun.

Photographers like Garry Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz (his leica work anyway) produced some amazing street photography but they were never the style of photography that I aspire to. But I recently came across the work of Matt Stuart and they just made me smile. Perfect timing, sharp eyes, a good sense of humour and patience have produced some truly wonderful images.

All images ©Matt Stuart

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

My 20x200

I promise this is the last bit of shameless self promotion I will be doing before I post something that's not about me. Two of my images from Farewell in Labrador has just been made available through 20x200 and you can buy them from as little as $20. Thank you Sara for writing such a nice article to introduce them.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Hey! Hot Shot opening

If you are in New York next wednesday and have the evening free, why not come to the opening of the Hey Hot Shot exhibition. I will be showing work from People's Park as well as Farewell in Labrador.

Wednesday, September 9, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the opening reception for the Hey, Hot Shot! 2009 First Edition Exhibition, featuring eighteen works from five photographers: Michelle Arcila, Daniel Cheek, Mike Sinclair, Parsley Steinweiss and Kurt Tong.

Jen Bekman Gallery
e: info@jenbekman.com | w: www.jenbekman.com | p: +

6 Spring Street
(between Elizabeth + Bowery)
New York City 10012

The gallery is open Wednesday — Saturday from noon-6 p.m., or by private appointment.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

New website, New work

Ever since I met the amazing Mary Virginia Swanson at Santa Fe, I have been looking into rebuilding a new website and I am happy to say that I have taken her advice on board and launched a new website. It will be a few days before all the servers are updated but 99% of visitors should be directed there on first go.

I have also posted my latest project - In Case it Rains in Heaven and images from my currently project - Memories, Dreams; Interrupted.

Rhubarb-Rhubarb and We English

I am just recovering from a really hectic weekend at the Rhubarb Festival in Birmingham. The week prior to that wasn't easy either, trying to print two bodies of new work. But I am glad to say, the responses were really positive and I am confident that there will be lots of positives coming from the weekend.

It was also good to catch up with a few friends and old acquaintances.

One of the highlights was seeing Simon Robert's new book - We English. I first met Simon when he came into my old college as a visiting tutor. I am a fan of his first book Motherland and had been looking forward to seeing his new work. When I saw the spread he had in the last FOTO8, I must admit, I wasn't too impressed by it. It turns out, only 2 images form the book made it into foto8 because of contractual reason..... and the book is really quite brilliant. I will be looking forward to the exhibition next month. Until then, you can read about the journey he took with his family to produce the work.

Monday, 20 July 2009

More Troika Editions

Two more of my images from Farewell in Labrador have been released by Troika Editions, they are available from as little as £35. Do check them out if you get a chance.

©Kurt Tong

©Kurt Tong

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Review Santa Fe 100

I had hoped to talk about more good work I saw at Santa Fe, but I have been quite busy lately and I have so many others things I want to post here; but do check out the list of all the photographers who were there, lots of amazing work there.

The better people won

Back in January, I was nominated for the four-yearly Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Awards by Susanna Brown, one of the curators of photographs at the V&A. After months of wait, they have recently announced the winners and I was so impressed by them. I definitely didn't get the 'I could have done that' feeling. It's inspiring to see how far the winners have pushed the boundaries of colour photography. Do check out their work through the Photographic Resource Center website.

Monday, 22 June 2009

More work from Santa Fe

I have been meaning to post more good work from Santa Fe but my daughters have been struck down by chest infections this past week. My wife and I had been trying to keep them happy while surviving on three hours sleep. Blogging was the last thing on my mind.

So to make it up, here are three photographers. I saw their work online prior to Santa Fe and was determined to see the work in print. Unfortunately, review Santa Fe being so hectic, I only managed to see one of the projects, but I did meet two of the artists.

Their images may appear straight forward at first, but they are strong, stimulating and layered projects that carry strong social statements and demand the viewers to ask more questions. From American food culture to globalisation of food, from the state of the economy to the effects of war and migration.

Mark Menjivar - You are what you eat

you are what you eat is a series of portraits made by examining the interiors of refrigerators in homes across the untied states.

Jonathan Blaustein - The Value of a dollar

images of one dollar's worth of food from around the globe

So you can see there's a food theme going on here. The last project is by

Ari Soloman - 18 Rue Dugommier

Not a food project but I have chosen the food images form his project here. It a very intimate project of the photographer's great Aunt, - 'the images hint at both what was missing in her life and what filled it through layered compulsions of classification and arrangement.'

Friday, 12 June 2009

Susan Worsham - More good work from Review Santa Fe

I also had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Susan Worsham at review Santa Fe last week. I have seen her images around the internet for a while now and always thought they have a really nice aesthetics but being able to see the whole series 'Some Fox Trails in Virgina' and having her explained them to me, I realised what an amazing project she got going on. Her images are full of nostalgia, taken of new friends and reoccurring objects within the walls of her childhood. Check out the whole series on her website.

    'This series of photographs is taken in and around Virginia, the place in which I grew up. The title comes from a book written by my father's ancestor, to show the lineage of the Fox family in Virginia. For my own purpose, it acts as a metaphorical map, of the rediscovered paths of my childhood home.'

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Jeffrey Aaronson

I had the real privilege of meeting and dinning with Jeffrey Aaronson at Santa Fe last week. Even if you are not familiar with his work, chances are you have seen his pictures. Having done many assignments for the likes of National Geographic, Newsweek, Time and Life, he has literally been all over the world photographing. He no longer takes editorial assignments, instead he has been concentrating on long term personal projects. Do check them out at his website, they are amazing. But the nicest part, was how modest and funny he is,it was a real pleasure hanging out with him.

The images below are taken form his latest project, Borderland:-

'In this work, I pursued the vernacular, the original, creating visual folktales that mirror a collective longing for a home and cultural identity. My intent was to photograph the manifestations of those within and those without.'

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Roadtrip USA

I remember reading Alec Soth's blog a few years ago when he posted an entry about advice he would give any emerging photographer. The 3 suggestions he had were 

1. Jen Bekman and her Hey, Hot Shot competition.
2. Mary Virginia Swanson
3. Review Santa Fe

This last week, I did all three.

I received some great news on thursday that I have been chosen as one of the 2009 First Edition Hey, Hot Shot! Having been following their blog for the last couple of months and seeing the amazing work they feature, it was a great honor to have been chosen. It means I will be showing in New York for the first time, be included in 20X200 and best of all, get the chance to work with Jen Bekman and her team. 

I have also just finished review Santa Fe, as always, there were people who loved the work and people who didn't. But I was so glad to have met Mary Virginia Swanson. It was the first time at a portfolio review that the reviewer had done research on me before the meeting and she had a list of suggestions waiting for me on my presentation and marketing. We barely got time to look at the work but it was almost irrelevant. What a nice person she was too. I shall be taking her advice and hopefully you will see the my new improved website in the next few months.

Lastly, I met so many great people and great photographers in the last few days. Which was by far the best part of Review Santa Fe. I will hopefully be able to post the stuff I really like in the next few weeks. 

Until then, I will leave you with a few pictures I have taken in the last week. Having almost exclusively photographed with a large format camera in the last couple of years, I have had a great time using my new camera, which also comes with a phone.

My homage to Simon Norfolk

Friday, 22 May 2009

Memories, Dreams; Interrupted

Here are a few images from one of the long term project I am current working on at the moment. It's kind of a very loose continuation from my People's Park project. Whilst People's Park was inspired by my own childhood, I wanted to do a project that explores my daughters' memories, as they are being created now.

I knew I didn't want to take photos of my daughters, which seems to be a very popular approach, especially in the US, Catherine Angel, Betsy Schneider, Elizabeth Fleming to name a few that have amazing projects of their children, and of course Sally Mann.

Instead, I wanted to explore the spaces that I often go with them. These spaces are familiar to them and yet are shared, beyond the security of our home and constantly changing beyond our control. The images are both my interpretations of our memories and reflections of the dreams and anxiety I have for them.