Tag Archives: Sorrow

Medium Festival: Jamie Johnson

Featuring photographers seen at the Medium Photography Festival in San Diego….
Once in a while, a photographer has that light bulb moment, where they see something in their work they never noticed before, and then they see it again and again and all of a sudden they realize that, without their knowledge, they’ve been building a body of work–in the case of Los Angeles photographer, Jamie Johnson, quite a profound body of work at that.
I’ve known Jamie for many years and she’s the hardest working photographer I know.  Jamie has a family and children portrait business that keeps her busy seven days a week, year round, but one month out of every year, she explores a part of the world, often on her own, where she leaves the “platinum pacifiers of Bel Air” behind and refreshes her appreciation of humanity.
She has won awards from Prix De La Photographie Paris , Women in Photography International, the Gold Award at Color Magazine and shown at The Fowler Museum in Los Angeles, amongst many exhibitions across the country and online. 
One World 

I cover many terrains as a photographer. I work as an editorial and portrait photographer with an emphasis on family and children portraiture, I am drawn to the simple quality of just being in the world. A simple passion that lured me to travel around the globe and I make work as a way of exploring other cultures. With no particular direction, my two worlds suddenly became one. It started with an instant of recognition, of familiarity of a gesture, an expression, or a person, and I began to see that we are much more one world, than individuals. 

I began to see clearly that we are all experiencing the same joy, the same sorrow, the same routines, the same commitment to family and I began to see the universality of being human. My series, One World, features two photographs, captured years apart without any connection to the other image. The surprising similarities within images that I have been creating over the years, speaks a powerful truth and lesson about who we are.

Shanghai duo Birdhead fly into Paradise Row for first solo show in London

Click to view slideshow.
All Photo Stroll iPhone photos, © Miranda Gavin. Photos of work © Birdhead.

If you want to get a taste of contemporary Shaghai in the 21st century, then head down to Paradise Row gallery where the debut London solo show of Shanghai-based photographic duo Birdhead – set up in 2004 by friends Ji Weiyu and Song Tao  – is on for the next two weeks.

Daily life in China is captured through a series of black and white images, Welcome to Birdhead World Again, using a snapshot aesthetic and arranged for the show as a series of grids and sets of multiple images. The images are specifically arranged and organised, much in the same way collectors categorise objects, while the grid arrangement allows the work to be read and experienced in multiple ways; left to right, right to left, up and down and vice versa, as well as diagonally. this arrangement could also been seen as echoing the block-like structure of buildings and the layout of many modern cities, making the reading of the work as dynamic as the city itself.

The classical Song dynasty poem, Youth Does Not Know How Sorrow Tastes, by Xin Qiji and translated by John Scott and Graham Martin, is  re-presented in the gallery space and provides inspiration for the images . “Each word of the poem is extracted photographically from neon signs and billboards around the city”, writes Katie Hill in the catalogue;  fragments from the past appropriated from contemporary culture.  One gallery visitor commented that the translation was, perhaps, too flowery. Welcome to Birdhead World Again runs until 4 April and is highly recommended.

Being touted as China’s hottest duo, Birdhead showed work at the recent 54th Venice Biennale. See over for more about the work.

All photos above © Birdhead, courtesy of the gallery.

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Birdhead “use photography to capture, mediate and occupy their contemporary experience of daily life in Shanghai, China’s greatest metropolis whose ever increasing scale and vitality is more than itself – being read the world over as a gauge of the flow of power from West to East.

“Their tactical use of the snapshot aesthetic and the high volume of images they deploy make manifest a visual stream of consciousness. We see the artists going about their lives; being with friends, laughing, talking, eating, working, partying, sleeping etc. all this against the backdrop of the urban landscape of Shanghai. Tall towers, skyscrapers, telecoms masts and vast flyovers punctuate the images of human activity, of youth and consumer culture, illustrating the strange symbiosis between inanimate infrastructure and the life that it shelters and facilitates.

“Alongside their images, Birdhead present, Youth Does Not Know How Sorrow Tastes by Xin Qiji, a classic poem from the Song dynasty era. A melancholy masterpiece, the poem reflects upon the arc of experience that forms each life, the Romantic naiveté of youth and the price paid for wisdom. In common with Birdhead’s sensibility, the poem is imbued with the pathos of the individual set against the sweep of historical time.’ From the press release.

Filed under: Photographers, Photography Shows, Visual Artists Tagged: Birdhead, contemporary photography, Ji Weiyu, Katie Hill, Paradise Row, Shanghai, Song Tao, Youth Does Not Know How Sorrow Tastes

Maia Fiore

French photographer Maia Fiore doesn’t want to talk about her work, or for that matter, about herself, but at a time where sorrow and devastation fills the airwaves, it nice to spend some time with images that are quirky, happy, and full of magic.

Images from Big Head Poetry

Images from Sleep Elevations

Images from Maia och Fiore