Dec 05 2009

The ICP ‘n Me

Published by Jensen Rong under ICP Exhibit

The School at ICP sits like a sky-sleeping star in the center of the city. Seriously.

The School at ICP sits like a sky-sleeping star in the center of the city. Seriously.

I have always doubted the authenticity of the art of photography (alliteration for the win!) I always thought that it was just a cheap craft that just involved a focused aperture and couple touchups with Photoshop that will eventually lead your artwork to fame, stardom and a place on DeviantArt’s “hourly top ten.”

I might have to rethink that opinion now.

Photography is definitely an art form.  Instead of having meticulous brush detail or involved choreography, the subject is fixed and then captured with a high end camera.  It’s all medium, which I feel silly now for using it as a basis to criticize it.

A couple of works stuck out as interesting.  The first work that I saw was a gallery of a photographer named Miyako Ishiuchi, who took pictures of her mother in a dress.  Some of the pictures of her are without her dainty floral-patterned dress, exposing burn scars from a car accident years before.  The gallery itself shows an interesting juxtaposition of permanence and impermanence.

The clean white dress compared to Ishiuchi’s mother’s scarred and aged skin shows the difference between man-made prosterity and natural decay.  However beautiful her mother looked before she got into the accident and before she grew old, she will never be like the hand-made dress that aged with her.

A bit further down from the exhibit is a gallery by a photography named Hu Yang, who took high definition pictures of the various people living in Shanghai.  These pictures depict the varied lives that its people go through, which shows striking differences.

One picture shows a devoted family man, sitting in his children’s rooms, who tries to give them a better future through his hard work, despite their trying economic situation.  He built a bunk bed for them, which barely stands as a mess of cardboard and wood.  The walls are decorated with the awards that his oldest son won by being the best in his math class.

The look on their eyes give off the same defiant glitter as the ones in The American Gothic.

Another shows a stark contrast: a young 20-year old woman reclining on a beautiful oak table against a minimalistic red wall that pours out its own brand of regality.  She says her success as an artist made her care-free, and that she has no other purpose in life than to pursue a life of hedonism.  She doesn’t care about responsibilities.

These exhibits truly opened my mind up to the kind of thematic scope that photography could explore.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “The ICP ‘n Me”

  1.   Rhianna Mohamedon 11 Dec 2009 at 7:40 pm

    What was even better about the ICP exhibit, were the films it included.. Multimedia exhibitions at Photography museums.. What else can you ask for?

  2.   Aon 11 Dec 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I loved the piece of the family man. It was a fresh change from some of the other pieces (like the one Sai’s post discusses of the European men).

  3.   Nguyen Chion 11 Dec 2009 at 8:35 am

    I really like the fact that you are rethinking the meaning of photography and its place in the art world. I know the ICP museum has internships and the likes if you are interested in participating.

  4.   Angela Ngon 10 Dec 2009 at 1:12 am

    This is so touching. The photos were really more then an artistic statement, they were also a social commentary. You really captured all of that in just a short description.