The Sights and Sounds of Asia’s Incredible Markets
For as long as Peter Steinhauer can remember, Vietnam has been part of his life. His father was a doctor during the Vietnam War, and growing up, Steinhauer would show his father’s photo slides for extra credit in school. After art school, Steinhauer moved to Hanoi with the intent of staying for a few months. He ended up staying seven years. After that, he moved to Singapore, then back to Vietnam, and then lived in Hong Kong for five years. All the while, markets were a part of the daily fabric of Steinhauer’s life, but it wasn’t until 2013, when he was living Singapore, that it occurred to him to do a project on them. “I don't know if it was an epiphany or what, but it just dawned on me that these markets have so much history in them,” he said.
Take a Tour of Tokyo in Miniature
Photographer Ben Thomas first visited Tokyo in 2008 and was completely in awe of the size and scale of it. “The culture, architecture and pop culture are on such an extreme scale. It can be scary, fun and complex at the same time,” he said via email. Thomas thought it would be the perfect location to photograph with tilt-shift lenses, which allow selective focusing to simulate miniature scenes. In 2012, he returned to the city to shoot more photos for his book, Tiny Tokyo. “Anything that makes you look at the familiar differently is a fantastic thing. To look at an image that is instantly familiar, but also just a little bit strange causes you to look a bit deeper and explore the scene with fresh eyes,” he said.
Combining Images Across Time and Place to Tell a Single Story
David Hilliard’s vibrant, multipanel images find a delicate and unique balance between fact and fiction. Combining frames from his four-by-five view camera shot at different times, Hilliard creates composite panoramic images that are seemingly fluid but instead form a narrative that shifts between time and place. These escapist photographs focus on the ideas of masculinity, identity, and personal relationships through a cinematic style of portraiture.
“Photography, with all of its mechanical dumbness, is believable, right? But when you piece [images] together, there is a lot happening between the moments that you just don’t know. It could be a day or a second. That was amazing to me when I first started to figure it out,” Hilliard said. “[This style] seemed to be the best of everything. It could be cinematic, it could be photographic, it could be fiction, and it could be performance.”
Are These Photos Staged? Does It Matter?
A few years ago, Bradley Peters showed his wife’s 10-year-old nephew an image taken by Garry Winogrand titled Central Park Zoo. While trying to convince the young boy about the magnificence of the photograph, Peters was surprised when he said he didn’t believe the image wasn’t staged. At that moment, Peters became aware of a monumental generational shift regarding the authenticity of photography.
“I grew up with a different faith in what a photograph was describing when compared to his generation,” Peters wrote via email. “My predisposition was that images are truthful, but with the understanding that there was a chance I was being deceived, while his experience is the opposite.”
The Way We Eat Dinner Now
Growing up, both of Miho Aikawa’s parents had fulltime jobs, which made it difficult for the family to find time to spend together. As a result, it became a rule that they would gather for a family dinner whenever possible. “As a teenager, I was unconcerned about the importance of that family rule. However, now I understand that the dinnertime we had together as a family had irreplaceable value to all of us, and it meant a lot,” Aikawa said via email. “Having dinner is not just about eating food, and dinnertime portrays more aspects of our lives than lunch or breakfast would, since the term ‘dinner’ refers to the main meal in a day. Even if the food provides the necessary nutrition, that alone is not enough. The question is: ‘What is a quality dinner?’”
Mesmerizing Portraits That Capture Multiple Moments in a Single Second
For many of us, trying to recall even a handful of conscious moments we have during a day is difficult enough. Imagine trying to remember 40 moments recorded in a single second.
That is part of the inspiration behind Isabel Martinez’s series, “Quantum Blink,” an analog produced project that examines the idea that time consists of a series of “nows” we continually connect like links in a chain.
Martinez said she came up with “Quantum Blink” after reading about a neurophysiologist who discovered that our brain activity oscillates at an average rate of 40Hz which would translate (according to quantum mechanics) to 40 conscious moments a second.
The Cold War May Be Over, but Its Decaying Relics Can Be Found All Over Europe
The Cold War is over, but signs of it still exist all over Eastern and Western Europe. In the course of more than a decade, Martin Roemers traveled to hundreds of locations in 10 countries photographing the often abandoned and decaying underground tunnels, barracks, monuments and other structures that remain decades since the war’s end. “It was a strange conflict. There was no fighting but it left its mark in Europe and you can still see it even today,” Roemers said.
Intimate Portraits of the Genderqueer Community in San Francisco
Initially, Aftel’s series was titled “agender.” She began it as a personal project by taking a portrait of Edie, who identifies as agender (someone who identifies as as having no gender identify and/or no gender expression), and who was dating Aftel’s friend’s son. Around the same time, Aftel was assigned to photograph an agender teen, Sasha Fleischman, for San Francisco Magazine. While riding a bus in San Francisco, Fleischman’s skirt was set on fire, resulting in second- and third-degree burns. The incident made national news and became an opportunity for exposure to the hardships many people who identify under the genderqueer umbrella face.
Are People Invisible Against These Backgrounds, or More Visible Than Ever?
The colors and textures Natalia Wiernik uses as backgrounds for her portraits of both people and inanimate objects is often misinterpreted as the artist’s desire to camouflage her subjects in her images.
For Wiernik, it’s the opposite.
“People in the pictures are not disappearing,” she wrote via email. “I think they are more visible, more memorable; the background can be some kind of continuation of the subjects.
A New Way to Talk About Poverty in Troy, New York
Brenda Ann Kenneally takes photographs, but to call her a photographer isn’t quite accurate. She prefers the term “digital folk artist,” and when you hear how she interacts with her subjects—families living below the poverty line in Troy, New York—and tells their stories, it seems an apt description. Kenneally doesn’t simply create media, she curates it: She collects family photo albums, school and medical records, letters from prison, scrapbooks, and even screenshots from Facebook. Since she began her project, “Upstate Girls,” more than 10 years ago, she’s amassed thousands of photos, several terabytes of video, and scores of other documents. “If you're doing documentary, you need to be the foremost authority on whatever you're doing. I don't know anything about almost everything; there are so many things to know now. But I know some stuff about these couple places, and you have to want to share that,” she said. “The pictures are just a way to remind me about what I've learned. No longer do I care about having pictures in a frame on the wall.”