Louise Clements | FORMAT Photography Festival

posted by Michael on 01 April 2010

April's Critic's Choice is Hin Chua's "After the Fall" series picked by Louise Clements, the Senior Curator at QUAD and co-founder and Senior Curator/Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival.

A Mile from Zhang Jiang High Technology Park, Shanghai, from the series After The Fall, by photographer Hin Chua

LOUISE WRITES: "Benjamin's flâneur is a response to a world in which sense is dejected, scattered, crystallized in detail. The flâneur is the collector and connoisseur of detail. He is a sensibility as opposed to intelligence. His highest aspiration is to become a medium, a precipitate in which the scattered particles of sense can reconstitute themselves. The original whole... has been shattered, by time, by history, by the hubris of progress; the flâneur, by drawing together bits and pieces from the rubble, can discover its echo. The flâneur is, thus, dedicated to the surveying of space, for it is only in space, in the network of layered particulars, that the successive images of time are concretized. Space exists to take the print of time." - Sven Birkerts, "Walter Benjamin, Flâneur: A Flanerie"

Immersed in the world, Hin Chua is simultaneously absent observer and participant in the mass, applying the strategies of street photography to all areas public space. Shifting between spaces transecting the surface of the world motivated by aesthetics, composition and Rahnsdorf, Berlin by photographer Hin Chuathe intuitive disjuncture between beauty and terror, his nomadic life enables him to be responsive when encountering moments, to be a flâneur reacting to a sense of the world between the borders of culture. He plays an important role in understanding, participating in and portraying the urban landscape and its anomalies. A collector and connoisseur of detail with no specific thesis, he works with just a sense, a feeling and emotion. By his own admission Hin 'likes getting lost and making photographs'

Places and moments, however fleeting, are locked into his images he seeks moments that heighten tensions between the vernacular and pedestrian while toying with a foreboding that questions time and space. The series title the fall refers to the state of disobedience after paradise, predominantly dealing with the boarders where urban zones begin to fray. They are the confessions of a place and give us incomplete clues to the events that are mid or post action. We encounter the place post trauma where tensions and life exists within an ephemeral space, appearing and disappearing without announcement or fanfare.

Ponders End by photographer Hin ChuaHin captures moments of solitude elevating simple elements like weeds, wire and trees from oblique insignificance to poetic relevance layered with traces of urbanity. He offers them to us as an ambitious varied approach to the issues and psychological aspects of the built environment in an attempt to relay the wonder of his encounters with the world. The individual titles of the images act more as markers that chart his journeys, it is Hin's aim that it is the image itself that communicates his feeling of estrangement rather than any textual lead. Akin to the work of Michael Lungren "They are a search to understand beauty and terror, which are bound to one utter certainty-change... Through intuition, to photograph the impossible, to fix the fugitive on film."

Louise Clements

  • FORMAT began in 2004 and is one of the UK's leading contemporary photography festvals. The next FORMAT will take place in Derby, UK, March 2011.
  • QUAD is a new visual arts and media centre in Derby offering galleries, an independent cinema, artist studios, digital and physical production spaces and a BFI Mediatheque.
  • Hin's full series can be seen here.

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The next FORMAT...

...will take place in Derby, UK, March 2011 and details will be available on their website

The 2009 festival featured a diverse group of contributors, including among others- David Lynch, Cindy Sherman, William Eggleston and Wim Wenders

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