Michael Ting comments on the frailty of life in his first solo exhibition
Michael Ting (丁雲海), in contrast to the teenagers of the FNAC exhibition, shows a studied deliberateness in his first solo show, which opens tomorrow at the Eslite Vision gallery. The exhibition consists of large prints of studio shots of flowers in various stages of their life.
Shot on 4-by-5 Polaroid 55mm film and then split toned in sepia and selenium, many of the flowers are not in full bloom, but withering or dead. For Ting, 36, the dying flowers gain an ?fterlife?through the withering process. One striking photo shows a number of drooping lotus buds shot after left to whither for two weeks.
Another project shown in the three-part exhibit is a series of time-exposures shot during Ting's college years in California in the 1980s. Deeply affected by the death of his brother, the photographer wanted to show the fragility of the human body. Shooting the images of himself dancing in this series proved for Ting to be a way to reconcile life's unpredictability and helped him come to grips with the inevitable.
Another project also deals with life, death and destiny. Ting's own hands form the background against which images of what Ting sees as milestones in his life are superimposed. With this clear reference to the tradition of
palm-reading, Ting expresses the the futility of trying to foretell one's destiny "There's nothing you can hold on to," Ting said.
What: Michael Ting photography solo exhibition
When: Tomorrow until April 29
Where: Eslite Vision (誠品藝文空間), B2, 243 Tunhwa S. Rd. Sec. 1 (敦化南路1段243號B2)
Armed with disposable cameras, teenagers snap shots of their lives
It was raining heavily on Feb. 21 of last year in the town of Puli, yet for 100 teenagers of the town is was ?he most beautiful day of their youth. "It was that day that they were provided with disposable cameras by French photographer Bernard Faucon and asked to fire away in a ?ay of celebration."
Puli was one of 20 places chosen by Faucon for his globe-spanning project in which teenagers from France to Cuba, Taiwan to Morocco take photographs on a single day. The results, 20 panels displaying around 20 photos each, will be shown at FNAC's photo gallery from tomorrow.
The Taiwan panel stands out from others with its dark shades and damp backgrounds. Among the raindrops are smiling friends looking into the camera, or patting toy animals on the playground. Contrary to one's expectation of a post-921 quake Puli, these photos show the happiness
teenagers share with friends in their everyday lives instead of nature's destructive force.
Most of the photographs in the 20 collages portray friends and family and the panels have an overall positive and upbeat tone. Though physical surroundings may differ from country to country, the teenagers seem to share a universal dream of love and hope.
As a result there is too little variation to keep one's full attention for 20 panels, but there are some hidden gems: a young Cambodian monk appears as if in a halo, a boy in Mali seems to have been impaled by shafts of light.
The one notable exception is the Tokyo panel which mostly shows surreal and oddly, yet carefully, composed images which more often look like a professional, clinical study in urban alienation than youthful celebration.