Fri, Nov 21, 2014 - Page 12 News List

A platinum anniversary

This year’s Taiwan Photo, an annual photography fair, celebrates the 175th year of the invention of photography

By Enru Lin  /  Staff reporter

Cy DeCosse, Three Lilies (2013).

Photo Courtesy of Taiwan Photo Fair Committee

Three Lilies, by Cy DeCosse, is a photograph of a single stem with three blooms, each beguilingly detailed and luminous on the paper. On the leaves below, there is a depth of grays and blacks difficult to achieve with any other photographic process.

It’s one of about 60 platinum-palladium prints that go on display Thursday at Taiwan Photo, the only fair in Taiwan for fine art photography.

This year, Taiwan Photo is showcasing a range of historic processing methods to mark the 175th anniversary of the invention of photography.

Its marquee feature is the platinum-palladium print, which is highly prized by collectors for its wide tonal range, soft look and durability. One print can last over 500 years, says event organizer Edward Chiu (邱奕堅), also the art director of Taipei-based 1839 Contemporary Gallery (1839當代藝廊).

Dating back to the 19th century, platinum-palladium processing is expensive and uncommon in the industry today.

DeCosse, from the US, and Japanese American Kenro Izu are two critically acclaimed photographers who continue to use the method, and at Taiwan Photo they are offering prints from the Flowers and Still Life series, respectively.

Other historic prints include the daguerreotype, the ambrotype, the dry plate and the albumen print, brought in from galleries and photographers around the world.

The fair will also give photography lovers a chance to see contemporary pieces by global heavyweights.

This year, photographers include Tom Chambers, recipient of the Worldwide Photography Gala Awards; conceptual underwater photographer Elena Kalis from Moscow; Brigitte Carnochan, famous for poetic interpretations of flowers and nudes; and Daniela Edburg, who crochets and knits props for her surreal still lifes.

Event notes

What: 2014 Taiwan Photo

When: Thursday to Saturday from 11am to 9pm, Sunday from 11am to 8pm

Where: Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, Building A11 (新光三越A11館), 6F, 11 Songshou Rd, Taipei City (台北市松壽路11號6樓)

Admission: Day pass is NT$200 each

On the Net:

Gao Yuan (高媛), a world-leading photographer from Greater Kaohsiung, will be at Taiwan Photo with Woman with Building, a nude woman who reclines on a blue blanket with her back against the camera. Her face, turned slightly, is exquisite and disaffected, as if she has caught the viewer mid-stare. The background is a hazy industrial landscape expertly balanced with her body so that it appears to be a natural extension, and so her face becomes an oblique comment on what the onlooker has done to the earth.

First held in 2011, Taiwan Photo is Taiwan’s only fair that specializes in museum-quality prints for private collectors. The prints are run in limited edition and typically retail between NT$20,000 to NT$300,000.

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