Saturday, September 10, 2005

Space and Design

I have been trying to get my assistant Betty to find her own visual voice and have asked her who inspires her. Her reply was the photographer Cig Harvey.

So Betty showed my Cig Harvey's work and I was blown away too. What immediately struck me about Cig Harvey's work is how simple the images are but how strong they are graphically. Yes, she often uses a small depth of field to add a soft, vulnerable feel to her work. She also makes use of a lot of space in her images. Areas of different texture come together in an image to form an abstract, graphical design. If you simply trace the outlines of the spaces and objects of her photographs, you will already get beautiful shapes and designs. How delightful.

So, I have been humbling myself and been looking for shapes and design in my everyday life. I must say that is very hard in Singapore. There is so many things cramped into small spaces and nobody quite cares about design in Singapore. Sometimes I think that it is a shame when picturusque shophouses are dwarfed by characterless housing block flats. Someone once asked me why I do not take wide shots of Singapore. If you have seen some of my work in Singapore, say in the series static, you will notice that I tend to focus on details. It is because I have not been able to make sense of the visual chaos in Singapore. It is much easier to isolate graphical images in detail studies.

The most graphically inspiring place for me in Singapore is Millenia Tower. The space with the Lichenstein sculptures are a breath of fresh air for me. :)

1 comment:

töes said...

I'm not a big fan of Cig Harvey's style but i do enjoy images with small depths of field and plenty of spaces. I guess i very much prefer the more photojournalistic sort of work.

Roy Lichenstein is one of my favourite artists!