Tag Archives: emotion

Abandoned place; abandoned me….

A few days ago I posted several images from a shoot I took at an abandoned school here in Hong Kong. The series is called Children still play in Kwai Chung. The photographs were of window openings from the inside of the schoolrooms looking out to the outside. What I wrote in my description was the following:

“Abandoned places can be frightening places, but this one felt very much alive because of the new found graffiti that adorned the walls of the building, reminding me of a modern day carnival or amusement park. A child could play here freely. Entering the empty rooms though, I found a quiet beauty inside, mixed and layered with chaos, art, nature, the decaying walls and myself.”

Here are few of the images:

Then this morning, it dawned on me that the photographs were more than the above description. It was a clear reflection of how I was feeling about life at the present time. Recently, I feel like I’m divorced from the world. I am on the inside and it’s dark/lonely; meanwhile everything else is out there. The graffiti on the walls are like my own creativity, I’ve felt like I have been suffocating the past few months. The paying work has been scarce and I have turned inward in my own little bubble, my studio.

There were times when I would get exceedingly depressed, but this was more so the case before my own awakening. I could control (or at least understand) my own situation in life. My awakening allowed me to witness my self and my feelings from a far off vantage point. I have become, in a certain way, numb to life and existence on this plane of consciousness.

I feel most alive when I draw, paint and photograph from my soul. I get lost in the moment, and everything seems to be completely fine. There is nothing wrong; no pain, no suffering, no fear, no anxiety. Sometimes, I do not eat nor drink in those moments of intense being. But these kind of moments are dangerous when one needs to pay the rent and bills, the stuff that the pragmatic world requires of us to deal with. That is when I panic and have anxiety about how to get by in this world at the mature age of fifty-three.

The photographs in the abandoned school are trying to tell me something… You see, the window openings I found at the site are completely open, free to pass through.

To see the entire series: Children still play in Kwai Chung

 

‘Dreaming of me’, mixed-media of photography and painting combined

For years, I have resisted the use of photoshop manipulation and layers using frequency separations to create artwork. I always felt it was the easy way out making anything look artistic, and thus, refrained from using this technique in making my work. The majority of my photographic work pertained to the traditional standards of black and white, focusing more on light, shadow, form and texture. Most recently though, I have started to introduce painting back into my staple of mediums, and using ink transfer techniques using a printer and toner to create my art. And the results have been very satisfying. But I also felt it was okay for me to do this also in the realm of computer technology, and using Photoshop to assist in the melding of photography and my acrylics. This one I feel is more successful than ‘Creation, not by chance’.

As this image is not an actual print at this time, it will come a time to actually actualize the artwork. Please let me know if you are interested in owing this; I would be happy to work something out.

Dreaming of me, 2015, mixed media, by Norm Yip
Dreaming of me, 2015, mixed media, by Norm Yip

A little bit more…
Someone on facebook asked me about the above image.

He asks: Is it all digital or did you actually paint over the digital print of Hes?

My reply: Mike, there are 2 elements that are combined: 1) photograph of Hes, and 2) a textured painting. I am attaching the texture painting here. I used Photoshop to combine the two layers together. I can’t remember the frequency separations now since I did several, plus I desaturated some layers.(some colors were quite intense when I layered them). Also, I did a few high passes to the images to make the edges/textures pop out more.

Below is the painting I used to combine the photograph of Hes with. ground

Looking for realness

Realness. Is there such a thing such as this? Being in front of a camera implies a facade to who you are, and who you are is a very nebulous area. Most of the time, when I ask people to just be themselves, they don’t know what that means, but perhaps we can come just a bit closer to our authentic self, without an ego that tries to be this or tries to be that. It’s very easy for me to see when a person is putting on a show for me, in particular the professional fashion models whereby they are required to perform an act for the camera, so as to sell a product. But here is where the difficulty arises.

My Asian male photographs are devoid of clothing, devoid of coverup whereby the human body is exposed and thereby the form and physique plays a primary role as a means to expression. Then of course, the face and the expression if it is shown, then becomes vitally important. The realness is inescapable; the body is bare. In Hong Kong, nudity and sexuality is still taboo; the local people are still very inhibited and conservative. Hong Kong is a close-knit family city of 7 million plus inhabitants in a very small area of land. Our private space is very small, and well guarded. I digress.

In the set of images I have selected from a shoot I took of Wilfred several months ago, I wanted to shoot him without a backdrop and tungsten lighting. I thought I could get something from him that was less posed and more real, and I think I got it in a few of the photographs selected here. There is no retouching of the images, nor have there been any cropping.