Preface by Author: Tactile Photography

十二月 1st, 2019  |  传统艺术


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My Photography works looks like frescos, portrait rubbings on bricks. It
is also a kind of image that highlights fractions. It is not real visual
duplication of shadows and lights, but a kind of more realistic images
that human being can touch. The highlighted fractions of the images
become harsher because of lighting effect. Its details become clearer
because of little light casting on, the rear part and the fraction in
the gaps become transparency, even the paper base shows out. The images
are not reflection of the real world as well as the duplication of
shadows and lights; it is a new style image. Even it only exist in the
rubbings and prints before, it offers a new form for image and
photography. The reversed images enhance the birth of another image
world. From the very beginning, I only did experiments with graphic
objects, after a while, I expanded to other themes with space
characteristics, in fact, every object can produce image like that.


揭幕时间 | 1十月18日(星期日)15:00 – 18:00 展览时间 | 贰零零捌年4月八十二十十四日 –
六月7日opening | 3 – 6pm. sat. oct. 17 date | oct. 17 – nov.7, 二〇一〇

All the creation of art works must inspired by something, or because of
the birth of inspiration, my photography works is also the same. Once
when I was enlarging the pictures taken in Yungang Buddha Grotto in the
darkroom, I was inspired by the details of the images under the 24 feet
enlarger. I could not image how beautiful the pictures art will be when
they were developed, but after I processed the fixing procedure, there
were not beautiful details on the pictures; the white background of the
original negative images was taken place by the positive black images.
The details got obscure in the dark shadows.



How could this kind of beautiful images show to us? The images have
lingered in my mind for a long time. Could negative images become real
images? Are the negative images also beautiful as the real images? With
this question in my mind, I began my experiments. I thought over various
laws and began the experiment with techniques of negative electrical
scan, digital image manipulation, Giclee printing. At first, I selected
the right negatives for reversed image techniques, then I used electric
scan to get digital file and retouched the digital file with software to
reverse the images. After that I used burn tool to make the final
retouch until I made the excellent pictures what I wanted in my mind.
The whole process is same as painting. There are three kinds of images
during the whole process:



1, Part of the positive image, large parts of negative image: visional
state with little real image effect.


必发88手机版登录,——二〇一〇 Ann Biroleau / 罗伯特 Cook专访罗吉尔Byron:奇怪动物

2, whole negative image: The light of the Buddha that is the best
explanation the state of Buddhism.


Roger Ballen depict an abstracted imaginary space that is inhabited by
both animals and people. Mostly within grey, barren cell-like
structures, nightmarish scenarios, which are unspecific in their
narrative, are enacted. The oppressive intensity of this environment is
created by the metaphorical or symbolic interplay of the spaces, the
figures and animals, and the furniture and other paraphernalia that
exist within – and in fact help create – this world.

3, negative image inversed from up side down, I want to get the empty
state of the Chinese landscape painting, which takes white as black.

It is difficult to explain this place except that I think it exists in
some way or another in most peoples mind. Roger Ballen

For Ballen, inspired by the American ‘Field painters’ of the 1960s and
early 1970s, everything that resides within the visual field is
significant. Accordingly, Ballen is not a photographer for whom standard
divisions like subject and object, motif and background, make any sense:
the drizzle and lilt of a wire, the shuffle of a shoe, the smear of sand
on a wall are as important to the reading of the work, to its distinct
power, as gestures more humanly communicative like a smile or grimace.
This expanded pictorial focus produces a kind of animism where objects
that might be mute in another photographers work speak in a chaotic and
compelling tongue, making even the most ostensibly naturalistic image
more surreal than real.

At the beginning of the whole image process, the image I made has the
same beautiful effect as the brick image in ancient Han dynasty; the
composition of white and black is as beautiful as the brick rubbings.
While the white part of the background of the statue of Buddha that is
the shadows in the real image shows the idea effect of Buddha, so I
continued using this techniques to produce my other works. There are
inner light sources in my image, this kind of effect is same as painting
languages, that is light emitting from the painting its self. In fact,
lots of painting masters had used this technique to finish their works,
for example, the masterpiece where do we come from? What are we? Where
are we going? of Gauguin.

Roger Ballens photographs are like images from a waking dream:
compelling and thought-provoking, with layers of rich details, flashes
of dark humor, and an altered sense of place. Blurring the boundaries
between documentary photography and art, his work is both a powerful
social statement and a complex psychological study.

——the Interview in 2008Roger Ballen: Uncanny Animalsby Ann Biroleau and
Robert Cook

Light plays an important roll in tradition landscape painting Early
Spring, but this light is different from the light of the sun. It is the
light of thinking and imagination. we can call it the inner light of
objects. In the heart of ancient Chinese, people can understand that
objects can emit light. Gombrich mentioned in his book art and illusion:
It is not the exhaustion of images of objects, and also the story
telling, but something close to poetic style that Chinese ancient art
tradition cares about. He just wanted to record and recall a sense of
mind, which rooted from the conception of the essence of universe. This
idea shows out the characteristic of the idea of universe in Chinese,
that is objects and mankind unite together; the outside universe
combines together with personal feeling. When Chinese think of the
universe, they does not take it as the separate objects but something
with strong personal feeling.

Phaidon Press is pleased to announce the publication of BOARDING HOUSE
by Roger Ballen, a new collection of photographs by the South African
photographer. Showcasing over 70 black and white images, mostly
unpublished, this is Ballens most formally sophisticated work to date.
The tableaux have a greater emphasis on drawn and sculptural elements,
and the sense of collaboration between the artist and his subjects is
increasingly relevant. An introductory essay by photography curator
David Travis addresses the work in an accessible way, looking at these
images in the wider context of Ballen’s career.

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The inherit of the inner aesthetic of the tactile photography, besides
the trace of the Chinese traditional concept of the combination of
objects and mankind, I think it also because of the Chinese traditional
landscape painting, that is the idea of taking white as black. Another
example of this concept is the composite photography of Mr. Lang
Jinshan. He used ordinary images to make composite photography by the
skill of the composition of Chinese landscape painting, but I use the
authentic image and revered the images to finish my works, which based
on the photography languages. It is the inherit and recreation of
photography not just making painting with cameras, or the genre of Jerry
Uelsmann who use composite skills to make his works. The essence of
photography creation comes from Chinese traditional aesthetics. It is
the skills of moving mountains and rivers, good for living and taking
white as black.

BOARDING HOUSE is a space of transient residence, of comings and goings,
of people sheltered in a place they are using for their immediate
survival. Basic and fundamental, the structure is furnished with objects
necessary for an elementary existence, decorated with evocative
drawings, and littered throughout with animals. Remnants function there
as physical symbols of events that have occurred in the space; broken
pieces of a functional reality exist as the leftovers of scenarios that
have been played out there. The altered sense of place of this temporary
abode creates a sense of alienation, which acts as a jumping off point
for the imagination to run wild.

roger ballen,bite,2007,gelatin silver print

I have learned Chinese painting and understood the concept of moving of
mountains and good for living thoroughly from middle school. A little
path in the hill always attracts readers; every cloud has its silver
line. I always hope to enjoy the happiness when the painting rolls
stretches out, and then taste the harvest. Pictures can show out
feeling. I wish my works can convey my ideas and thinking, as well as
can communicate with audience. I also hope audience has similar feeling
with me.

Similar to his critically acclaimed work Outland and Shadow Chamber
(Phaidon Press 2001, 2005), the BOARDING HOUSE is a journey of discovery
in which we leave our ordinary selves behind and confront a primitive
part of the human condition and its psyche. Whether the place is real or
imaginary is both indecipherable and irrelevant. It is a place where
Ballens subconscious and the viewers inhibitions can occupy its own

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We all know that photography comes into birth from the west. Its
aesthetic attitude is also western style. It is also inherit of the
solid visual effect of western painting. From research of perspective,
lights and shadows to camera Obscura, the invention of photography, the
way of image capturing has changed a lot, but the standard for critique
is still work and passes on generations, even through lots of
photographers tried to get rid of the effect of painting, but they still
can not change the reality of photography and its tonality, even people
care about the documentation characteristic of photography, but there
are still some characteristics of caring about the space. It is like
Chinese writers show out the romantic feeling. There are many amateur
photographers groups show this characteristic. Chinese photography has
shifted to the time of photography as a media for artist. Wang Qingsongs
work Old Li at Dinner uses Chinese diverse perspective in Chinese
painting, I think only Chinese can finish such pictures. Can Chinese
pure photography comes into forth?



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