Backportraits

by , May 3rd, 2008  |  Published in Exhibitions, Humanistic Views

  • Taiwan in China

I’ve been travelling in China more or less for ten years now and to celebrate this anniversary, nothing could be better than a new BOP exhibition.

My two previous exhibitions in BOP deal with two different topics but they express my feelings as a foreigner in this country.

They reflect my surprises, my view, and my thoughts. To end this first decade of Chinese experience, I wanted to give another insight on this country. Would it be possible to show China as the Chinese actually see their country? As a foreigner, when I take portraits or landscape views, most of the time, the framing, timing, focus, and subject are mine; they are the result of my own agenda.

 

This is true in any circumstances except in one case, something that I call backportraits.

This could be defined by a classical portrait but from the back with an angle wide enough to see the context of the subject and what he is looking at, his environment, his current interests.

By the long review of the thousands of pictures I’ve taken there, I found out that among all this photography work, I have enough material for what I wanted to show. The result is a selection of less than 18 pictures taken in different places and at different time but all in the same circumstances. It’s always after a long period of immersion in the street life, once I feel like transparent thqt I stop in one place, wondering what these guys are watching and thinking about…

There is quite a bit of discussion among bop members these days about street photography and the portraits. Without being Capa, I agree that pictures are better when they are taken from closer, especially for portraits. The classical portrait are hard to shoot, because you will always interfere with your subjects and you will always be an intruder in his life, this is the price to capture who they are and how you see them. But backportrait are something else, they clearly give more freedom for the photographer but open another world.


About Bop

BOP name originated in French, it could be translated as: “wave and particle craft”.
BOP is an association whose goal is to promote film photography. It offers each member virtual space for their online portfolio and also aims at organizing collective paper exhibitions and publishing booklets. All BOP members are passionate photographers who aim at achieving high standards for each picture together with artistic coherency in their exhibitions.

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