I always make these pilgrimages to cemeteries. The cemeteries in Russia have always held a special interest for me. Having studies Russian literature it gave me an opportunity to have little “chats” with my hero’s, Fyodor Dostoevsky in particular. I made my first trip to St.Petersburg in 1992 but I do not have access to those pictures. At the time I made the trip with my partner at the time. I imagine those negatives are still in her basement somewhere. A shame, as that particular trip we traveled to my grandmother’s village and were privy to some interesting characters and situations. These particular pictures were taken in 2000 I believe. One of the themes I discovered was the eroticism in the depictions of death. I would like to explore this more in the future.
There was a time when I had my tea shop in Vancouver, BC. I was in Chinatown. It was an interesting time in my life. The shop, somewhat off the beaten track drew in all kinds of characters. Most days I would be sitting in my shop writing on my collection of typewriters. I would be writing the stories of my experiences. I will write more in time, but for now I will post these pictures.
Here are some pictures from the Korean Master potter Shin Yun Kyun whom I got to know while living in South Korea. He is well know for his work and style. He fires his pottery using a wood kiln which is very labor intensive. The actual firing takes up to 36 hours and the potters are not sure how many of their creations will survive. Generally about 40% survive. This is one of the reasons the pottery is expensive. However, to be able to have, hold, and use such pottery is an absolute pleasure. I feel it connects us to the elements that make up this universe.
One day while I was photographing in the market I came across “Maria”, as I learned. When I took her picture she started shouting, but not in a menacing way. Typical Busan satori (the local dialect), loud and with lots of passion. I was lucky to have some one nearby that could translate. It turned out that over the years many foreigners have photographer her, and yet she has never see or gotten a picture. Unfortunately I am also guilty. But my excuse is that I have been walking this earth with my shoe box of negatives (I have since gotten more organized). Very recently, thanks to Robert Derval and Irwin Haberman I have been given access to use a film scanner. Thanks to them “Maria” has been at last exposed. Maria I have never forgotten you…take comfort even my sister who have gotten married so long ago have not seen any pictures from their weddings. I am working on it… I am.
Lee Jae Yong, my Korean brother introduced me to this legend of a man who was famous for his hand acupuncture. He was called to Russia to cure a politicians son, and stayed for 3 years. I remember the first time I met this man a heated debate concerning the solar system and Taoism. He was probably right and I was just reacting…being young and opinionated. He has since passed on… he was probably right.
While living in Busan, South Korea I often witnessed these guys driving around bug spaying. It was well rendered in a Korean movie called “Friends” or “Chin Goo” It was the opening scene. Check out some of my portraits of Lee Jae Yong, he was one of the actors in the movie and my big brother in Korea.
While living in South Korea I was introduced to Master Potter Heh Bong and his family. He is a potter who lives not far from Pusan and owns an earth mine. He and a few employees process the clay which is then sold to other potters. What I love about Heh Bongs pottery is that it is well made and balanced. His pottery’s earth texture and tones are pleasing to the eye and hand.
I was very fortunate while living in South Korea to be invited as a guest to so many different celebrations and ceremonies. This one stands out in my memory. One of the most comfortable weddings I was invited to. Lots of fun…country side fun. Eventually I will post some of the other Korean weddings that I have shoot. Stay tuned.
After seeing the Impressionist exhibit from the Clark Museum here in Montreal I am compelled to offer up these images in hommage. When Photography entered the scene some of the painters thought it was the end of their craft and profession. But, according to Renoir apparently he said “now the shop keeper only has to go to the photographer, worse for us better for the art of painting.” The Impressionists concentrated more on the art of expression and feeling. I feel some what of an similar situation with photography in the 21st century. So many people with cameras capturing…well the only way to go is deep down inside ourselves and our feelings…the camera is now at the mercy of expressing the abstract and creative concepts as well as our daily relality.