Leica Camera Asia Pacific is proud to feature the works of Leica Akademie participants – Anuwat Burapachaisri, David Teo, Dick Van Leeuwen, Jamie Chan, Neo Deng See, XT Anonuevo. From reportage to landscape photography, this body of works encapsulates the knowledge gained by Leica Akademie participants through the various workshops delivered in 2012.
My friend, Mathias Heng, who spearheads Leica Akademie Asia-Pacific, asked me to pop by during the opening night to witness the fruits of labour by the participants.
“Mathias, considering that with digital photography, the barrier to entry is lower than say…a decade ago. With so much channels or schools to learn about photography. Can the industry absorb the people getting into the industry?” I asked the lead instructor.
Without a pause, Mathias replied “We focus on grooming the people and the talented one will create the industry. It’s a renewal thing.”
I nodded as I took a sip from my wine glass and Mathias said “Do feel free to talk to the participants.”
“I will, after I walk around and take a look at the photos on display.”
Moving around, with lot of guests at the intimate space, I see an array of work and style from individuals from vary Asian countries and the photos on display from vary workshops catering to different focus. Hence do not view the collective work to flow as one or linearly. To be truthful, the quality of works vary but the key beauty of this showcase is showing how Leica Akademie present to the participants new challenges and gain new perspective when going through the courses.
“Being put outside of your usual comfort zone helps one to grow and learn faster. – Jamie Chan”
I spoken to Jamie Chan, a female participant of “Off The Coast: A Fishermen’s Tale”.
“How was the course? The experience?” I asked for insight from this young lady.
“We went with Mr Heng to Trengganu in Malaysia, to document one of the oldest trade, fishing. And experience what it’s like to be a reportage photographer, where only the bare necessities are provided and comfort is a luxury.” Jamie replied.
“Comfort as a luxury?” how so? What were the hindrances you encountered?”
Jamie: “Each participant will follow a fisherman out to sea (with safety gear) in the early hours to document their daily life on the sea, and all the way to the fish market where they sell their catch.
It was like Seven hours straight out at Sea, I tried not to drink too much water because as a lady I would have problem if I need to pee while out at sea!”
“I see, so you and the other participants learnt how to work with limited space on the boat, as well as be pushed beyond your usual way of shooting and seeing to create a series of images that best depict the lives of these fishermen, as I have seemed here.”
Jamie: “Yes, being put outside of your usual comfort zone helps one to grow and learn faster. The key thing is Mr Heng make sure arrangements are made to have the whole learning trip smooth and also the safety aspects are look after.” She ended her statement with a smile.
I nodded and thank Jamie for her time.
Jamie presented a good example to what Mathias mentioned to me – Having the top priority to educate photography to everyone, the top few with the desire will keep moving. Present them with challenges to let them know they are capable of doing more and better. That is how you mould good folks to be out there to renew the industry, and not worry about whether the industry can absorb the talents.
I would say, it’s worthwhile to check out the courses that Leica Akademie has, and challenge yourself.
Anuwat Burapachaisri is a businessman based in Bangkok, Thailand. He has used a DSLR for many years, and has switched to a Leica in the past 3 years. Living in the world of automation now, Anuwat finds manual focusing with Leica allows him to meticulously compose every picture he takes. In the process, Anuwat discovered his true affection for photography.
A strong beliver in the storytelling power of images, David has been photographing the human condition actively since 2001, creating and forging a style that seeks to escape the increasingly formulaic demands of the mass media of our times. He is currently working on a long term project on the streets of Tokyo, and a portion of this work has been recently exhibited at his first solo exhibition “Tokyo Dreaming”. His work and picture essays can be found at http://www.5stonephoto.com/blog
Dick van Leeuwen
As a university student in the city of Enschede, Dick started processing the photographs he took in a darkroom. Darkroom now changed to Lightroom, other than that he is happy nothing much has changed. His preferred fields of interest are travel, landscape and street photography.
Jamie turns her lens towards documentary photography as she feels that there is always an incredible story behind every image. Her photography is driven by her love for beauty as she dreams of traveling to different continents to experience the local culture, lifestyle and to tell a few stories along the way. You can find her works at www.jamiecphotos.com
Neo Deng See
Apart from dabbling in modern art oil painting, he is currently pursuing his own techniques and style in photography. Most of his recent retirement time is spent finding a suitable artistic and photographic direction and he found keen interest in black and white street photography. He believes there are strong aesthetic and emotional characteristics that can be communicated through black and white photography, and with time, he can better sharpen his skills to bring about photographs that connect with people.
XT Anonuevo is a photography enthusiast from Manila, Philippines. His interest in photography started with Lomography as he was highly fascinated how light and the manipulation of it translates into making simple things very interesting. His work with contemporary photography has taken shape in various forms usually triggering an emotion of subtlety, relaxed and the familiar. Usually opening a void space to let his viewers wallow into a Tabula Rasa kind of mental state.
10 January to 14 March 2013
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