Title: i. When The Black Bird Arrived Duration: 4:32 Video Format: MP4 Background Track: "Beacuse" by Teho
3rd Dimension Apocalypse
A sci-fi city can be many things from imaginations, or it can be nothing in particular. It can be a floating city full of interesting characters with lots of buildings in the clouds. It can be home to scientific and technological breakthroughs that people only have in their dreams, and where there are no limits. In this city, which has different ways of "arming" itself, and therefore infinite perspectives and infinite possibilities, there can be genetic engineering, mechanical men or cross-dimensional travel. You name it. In your world (or your mind, if you prefer), this city can be anything you want it to be.
For me, it represents the beginning of a new chapter in my life. The name might suggest otherwise, but there is something that should be remembered about a process of metamorphosis: a part of us die when we change, so it can be reborn free of past burdens and mistakes, and give space to the new things that shall come.
Series II. For The Hungry Ghosts
Asian culture has garnered significant interest on multiple occasions. Its customs and traditions may appear distant to unfamiliar individuals, but they can teach us values we may not have known or chosen to acknowledge. Asia, as a continent, offers a unique perspective across its various countries.
In Asian countries, there is a strong emphasis on respect for ancestors and the deceased. This series of artwork revolves around that theme and is presented through three different mediums: Cyanotype on canvas, photographs, and digital art prints on clear films. The photographs were taken in 2015 and provide an intimate and comprehensive glimpse into one of China's most renowned traditional rituals, the ceremonies held to honor ancestors and ward off evil spirits or hungry ghosts during the Yu Lan Pun Festival (also known as The Ghost Festival).
What makes these photographs even more intriguing is the rich tradition of Chinese opera, in 2011, the festival was recognized as part of China’s intangible cultural heritage, as its roots date back more than 2,000 years. The Chiu Chow-style ghost dramas, performed on temporary bamboo altars, entertain the spirits and celebrate the charitable and pious works of the deities. Chinese opera has evolved over time, incorporating local folk art into its costumes, makeup, and hairstyles. This amalgamation has created a unique style with diverse artistic forms and content.
At the conclusion of the ritual, after the final show, all the large paper servants and guards, towering like two or three-story houses, are burned down. Unfortunately, this aspect of the tradition is no longer visible in Hong Kong. Burning items of such scale on the streets is now prohibited. This shoot is a reflection of the uniqueness of the Chinese culture in Hong Kong.
Everything we know today has an interesting story to tell. Cyanotypes, on their part, are one of the oldest printing processes of photography in history, and what a better way to honor such a legendary and old tradition such as the hungry ghost festival than with cyanotypes?
The alternative processes of photography have a lot to contribute. Those that were part of the timeline of printing an image on a physical, light-sensitive backing.
With the rapid evolution of the photo, we overlook the emotions capable of appearing when our hands hold a piece of paper with a memory printed in a professional or home lab.
Nowadays, memories are stored in a virtual cloud that we do not see and that we are certain exists somewhere. Photos are no longer in old albums or in a shoebox we once used. But cyanotype can bring back the enthusiasm that existed before digital clouds.
It consists of printing a negative on a surface treated with chemicals capable of creating a film that is photosensitive to UV light. The "negative" can be anything you want it to be; photographs, dried leaves or flowers, and this is one of the aspects that these works represent: for these shoots to be what you want them to be.