Tag Archives: sze tsung leong

Kick off 2012 and Visit New Exhibitions

New Year, 2010, © Jowhara AlSaud

Kicking off the 2012 art season, check out highlights on view throughout New York! See below for some of our favorite Aperture artists and galleries.

New Photographers at Dazinger Gallery, January 12–February 25, introducing five emerging photographers unlinked to one another through content but brought together for their first time exhibiting in New York City. Featured photographer Tereza Vlčkovà from Aperture’s groundbreaking book, reGeneration 2: tomorrow’s photographers today.

Silverstein Annual at Bruce Silverstein Gallery, January 14–February 25, offers exposure to ten up-and-coming photographers who have been chosen by ten prominent curators, including Nelli Palomaki, reGeneration 2 artist. View her limited edition prints available through Aperture.

Penetration at Foley Gallery, January 12–March 3, recreates the photographic image with five artists who interrupt the common photographic process. Portfolio Prize 2008 Runner-Up Jowhara AlSaud’s portraits of faceless figures, inspired by censorship, are personal photographs made into drawings etched on the surface of a negative, view her limited edition prints here. Pushing the capabilities of photographic paper itself, Marco Breuer scratches and scrapes the light-sensitive paper making conceptual, abstract imagery. See Breuer’s limited edition book by Aperture Early Recordings and Untitled 2007 and the highly acclaimed compilation The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography, he was also featured in Aperture magazine issue 172.

Joel Sternfeld: First Pictures at Luhring Augustine, January 6–February 4, displays a selection of Joel Sternfeld’s earliest photographs, taken between 1971 and 1980, documenting his travels across America through vibrant colors twined with wit and satire.

Visions: Tim Hetherington at Bronx Documentary Center, through January 22, is the inaugural exhibit featuring photography and multimedia work produced by photojournalist Tim Hetherington who was killed in April of 2011 as he covered Libya’s revolution.

First Look at Yossi Milo Gallery, January 26–February 18, is the inaugural exhibition at the new gallery space located at 245 Tenth Avenue. The photographers included all had their first solo New York City exhibition presented by the Yossi Milo Gallery. These artists include Robert Bergman, Mohamed Bourouissa, Pieter Hugo, Simen Johan, Sze Tsung Leong, Loretta Lux, Yuki Onodera, Muzi Quawson, Mark Ruwedel, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Lise Sarfati, Alec Soth, Kohei Yoshiyuki and Liu Zheng. A celebration will be held in honor of these photographers on February 16 from 6:00–8:00 pm.

Sze Tsung Leong – En Español

Born in Mexico City and raised in the UK and US, photographer Sze Tsung Leong does urban landscapes with an 8×10 camera. His current show at Yossi Milo gallery in New York, Cities, features a number of photos from Latin America.

© Sze Tsung Leong – Havana

I didn’t know it was possible to take a photograph in Havana that doesn’t feature an elegantly decayed pastel interior or a 1950s American automobile.

© Sze Tsung Leong – La Paz

© Sze Tsung Leong – Mexico City

© Sze Tsung Leong – Potosí

© Sze Tsung Leong – Quito

My favorite photo in the series is, of all places, of Manhattan. I can’t remember the last time I was surprised by an image from New York.

© Sze Tsung Leong – Lincoln Center

It’s ridiculous to post 400 pixel jpegs of big ass C-prints from an 8×10 negative [Yossi Milo’s website has bigger jpegs from the series]. I’m actually going to be in New York for a couple of weeks at the end of March so I’ll have the privilege of seeing this show in person.

I was curious if there were any interviews of Leong on YouTube. Interestingly, the only one I could find is in Spanish. It accompanied an exhibition at the Monterrey Museo de Arte Contemporaneo of his work, Horizons.

Review: Cities by Sze Tsung Leong at Yossi Milo


When I asked Seth Boyd and Richard Renaldi what made a good photobook (as part of my conversation with them), Seth said “Good pictures. Just good pictures. That sounds ludicrously simplistic, but that’s all I want when I look at a book: to see amazing images.” Once you put images on a wall, this becomes even more obvious: A good exhibition features good photographs. Of course, there are OK shows (lots of those) and good shows (fewer, but still a lot), and then there are great shows. Great shows will make you come back (if you can). Great shows are when you think you know what to expect, but once you’re there you know that something is happening that’s hard to describe. It’s almost magical. Great shows are rare. If you want to see a great show right now, see Sze Tsung Leong‘s Cities, on view at Yossi Milo Gallery (until April 2, 2011). (more)

(click on the image for full-size version)

To produce these images, the artist has been traveling all over the globe, pointing his camera at, well, cities. How do you take a photo of a city? You go somewhere higher up, and you make sure you get as much of the city as you can. It’s really as simple as that. If you were to ask what made a great photo, maybe a good first answer would be “a simple idea.” If you were to ask how to produce a great show out of great photos, I suppose there’s a simple answer, too: Get the photos printed properly, making sure they have the right size, get them framed, and hang them on the wall.

Describing it that way might make you wonder why Cities is so special, and that’s where things get a little hard to explain. Everything was done just so perfectly, while looking so effortlessly. It would (must?) have been so tempting to go for effect, to produce billboard-size prints… Well, actually, the artist did go for effect, but it’s done in such a subtle and controlled way that you don’t even realize what’s going on. You just realize that while you are looking at all those cities, you see them through the artist’s eyes, in the most perfect way.

Looking at these images on your computer screen won’t do, of course. You really have to see these images on the wall to be able to appreciate what they do. I could probably blabber on now, getting all those words out of the art critic’s box, talking about the “sublime,” for example, or any of the other stuff that so often gets used to inflate review word counts.

But maybe I’ll just add this: If you still need to get convinced that photography can be art, then go and see Cities. There’ll be photographs on the wall, but you’ll be looking at art, at the tremendously inspiring vision of an artist who happens to be a photographer.

Easily the best show I have seen in many months.