Mt.Rokko Portfolio Review Feedback – Ailsa Bowyer

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There are so many things to be said about the experience of attending the Mt Rokko Portfolio Review festival so I’m going to attempt a ramble the most significant aspects for me.

From the very beginning, we (the Malaysian *cough*slash*Australian*cough* posse), were treated like the most royal of guests. We may have let the whole team down because our un-showered bodies resembled nothing of royalty, but of course there was no mention of this. Even if people were surprised to find that there were in fact no dead animals in our bags or on our bodies, we (and our bags) were just welcomed with open arms and smiles. This was the first of consistent experiences of the Mt Rokko team’s astounding politeness and hospitality.

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We really were very blessed to have been able to attend this festival. I think pre-conceived assumption was that we, as international guests, had a lot that we would bring to the table. But, for me personally, I feel that I had a lot less to bring, and instead had a great deal that I took away. (And no, I’m not talking about the literal taking of amazing food or drinks. Although, as one exception to the culinary amazingness, if you buy the bottled green tea from the local convenience store, you may as well save yourself 70c, and the walk, and instead toss back the contents of the nearest ashtray).

The biggest realisation that constantly hit me was that there is just so much care and intention and pride invested in Japanese photography (or Japanese ANYTHING, for that matter), and that I have so much to learn in this regard. The ironic thing that I realised about my own art throughout this festival is that, I really don’t often treat any of it “like a work of art.” My prints and presentation really did resemble an eight year old’s artwork folder compared to the standard upheld by the Japanese attending photographers.

The Japanese folios were of gallery quality, and no expense was spared in the treatment or presentation of their photography. My favourite question from a reviewer, Didier Brousse, was “Is this how you usually print your works?” To which I answered a confident, “No, no, nooo…” (and in my head “… … … Um, yes? Shit! HIDE!)” What I was left reflecting on throughout this repeated exposure to japanese works was that, in the western screen-based world, we become so consumed with screen-based viewings, so often don’t connect a great deal with print – whether that be loose prints or book making – as a result. And in screen-worlds, we invest so much time, creativity, energy and planning in the execution of our photography, yet spend very little energy reflecting that in the final outcome of the work. And, to me, that really feels like the print version nestled proudly in your hands. (Don’t even get me started on the LIFE-CHANGING AMAZINGNESS OF MAKING A PHOTO BOOK, in particular. Experience this to know this, I can’t recommend that enough. Even in the initial dummy stages, for me, it is currently the most profound and moving experience. PERIOD).

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Pic by Akimichi Chimura

So for this reason, the open-portfolio afternoon where we all laid out our works and then walked around to peruse others, was the most significant event of the festival to drum home this message to me. At one stage I even panicked that my little yet heavy fingers may crease the tissue paper laying between one photographer’s prints. This is how I want to feel about my own photos, that I have sweated over and agonised over and poured so much of myself into. This is how we all, as photographers, should honour and value our own work.

The other giant benefit of the open portfolio session was being able to get somewhat of a mini snapshot of contemporary Japanese photography, in one hit. Walking around the room, I saw just how central family and history (including repeated references to traumatic historical events) was to most of these works. And how delicate each and every one of these works were. They all had such great contemplation and quietness and depth about them. And such beauty as a result. Further, as english is the second language of all the photographers, little words were used to communicate the intention/concepts behind the works; but little words were needed, which just made me realise the strength of the execution of ideas/concepts in their photography.

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Pic by Akimichi Chimura

Actually, I say they were all delicate, but I lie. They weren’t. There were some that were equally amazing for a different reason: because they were so, freaking, in-your-face confronting. Or entertaining. And to be honest, these works are the ones that I personally remember significantly, not for their asthetic appeal, but because the content of those works shook me the most.

Although it’s a given, it needs to be said – the actual portfolio reviews themselves were incredibly beneficial. I was reviewed by Naoko Ohta, Didier Brousse, Takeki Suigyama, Yoichi Nagata, Tuyoshi Ito, and Paula Kupfer. Every reviewer was very competent and knowledgable, and all had very different things to offer, including constructive criticism, positive feedback, suggestions for where-to-from-here, suggestions for presentation format, suggestions for sequencing or editing (note: bring LOOSE prints to reviews!

No fixed-photo folders!), and most importantly, questions that I hadn’t thought of or answered for myself yet. And although they all had very different and sometimes opposing things to say which did in parts leave me confused and overwhelmed, this to me was not indicative of any error of the reviewers, but rather indicative of just how far I’ve personally got to go in terms of being 100% sure of why I’m doing what I’m doing, and exactly how I want to do that, so I can then pick and choose exactly what feedback fits with my direction and where/who exactly I want to direct my photos to.

I’m talking too much. Let me cram in some parting words. The photographers and photography was incredibly giving and amazing. (AH-MAAA-ZING). Japanese people are ALL FREAKING BEAUTIFUL (mass generalisation, but I’m running with it), and may be deceptively quiet but seriously know how to drink an Aussie under the table. The festival had a real quaintness and naivete to it that makes it feel very precious. Takeki Suigyama (coordinator master #1) was a STAR at spreading love and energy throughout the place and dictating the vibe of the festival (including, but not limited to, frequent episodes of dance-shout-clap-chanting). Mariko Yamada (coordinator master #2) was often spotted running around behind the scenes instead of in the spotlight, but was the equal driving force behind the festival. (And with the sweetest smile in all of Japan).

The facilities were wonderful. (*Ahem* … first public bath experience. BOO-YAH)! The location is to die for. If I spent months on the YMCA grounds alone, I would be a very happy lady. And last but definitely not least, my favourite memory: the “sheet workshop” run by Daiki Usui. Literally, how to place one sheet on your bed, lie on that sheet, and then place a second sheet above you. “Like a sheet sandwich.”

Like I said, care and pride in EVERYTHING.

~ Ailsa, Perth 18 September, 2014

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Mt.Rokko 2014 Portfolio Review Highlights

Review Highlights

In my second year attending the review sessions as a reviewer, I have developed a greater sense of appreciation for contemporary Japanese photography, especially within the context of aesthetics, form and content where I found to be very much related to the ‘being’ of the photographer and is intertwined with a personal discovery and journey of the artist, which is rather unique to this nation. Reviews are a great way to discover the ‘pulse’ of what is being photographed at any one time, and having an open mind approach is best, for the genres presented is as varied as the characters of the photographers.

The photography from 15 photographers I reviewed over two days had studies of nature, family, landscapes, objects, street scenes, street photography, architectural images, creative portraits and some ‘road trip’ style photography. The deep respect amongst the Japanese to Nature, family and the home has been the source of many of the themes I continue to see.

Of the photographers I have reviewed this year, the works had better visual narratives, were of high standards and creativity compared to 2013. As expected, the standards of presentations was exemplary, with well printed photographs and good selection of media. I understand that the selection process of the photographers was rigorous and I applaud the organisers in maintaining a standard year to year.

With the review sessions still fresh in my mind, I highlight several photographers whom I have had the opportunity of reviewing, whose works stood out, and made a lasting impression in my mind. This is not to say the others weren’t significant or memorable, however, I would like to share some of the works that have made me reflect a little, surprised me, or stood out photographically as being unique, to my readers.

Susumu Okada – White Traces

Susumu is an accomplished photographer, and he presented his White Traces in perfectly printed large sized exhibition quality inkjet prints. The size of the prints, I think were at least 40 x 50cm, hits you with so much detail and texture that is is difficult to neglect. His series White Traces are streetscapes photographed around Tokyo of isolated spots, flyover pillars, fences, backyards, carparks where the main point of focus are the tiny round white and grey marks left on the hard surfaces by kids hitting baseballs against them, countless times. The images are truly unique and has many dimensions of narrative; reflecting the passage of time, a city neglected, the lack of open spaces, inner city life, etc. One thing, not a single kid is shown playing the game. Tokyo looks deserted, dull and grey.


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 All images © Susumu Okada

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http://www.susumuokada.com

Mina Daimon – Miniature Garden series (Hakoniwa , A world within a BENTO)

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What would we do without the bento? The simple bento box is uniquely Japanese. So, Mina Daimon, a graduate in Landscape Architecture Science presented an amazing series of perfectly filled lunch boxes, which she neatly arranged items of food she painstakingly cooked, in various combinations over a period of months, and photographed them. Her idea for this series comes from the fact that she sees the bento as miniature gardens, tendered to perfection, in a variety of ways in tastes and design, all for the enjoyment of one special person, her husband.  A simple idea takes on a whole new meaning, in this series about food, order, dedication and love.

Work — Mina Daimon Photography

© All images Mina Daimon

Here’s what she says about this series.

I do a simulation in my head before sleeping.
First, packing rice in the first layer of the lunch box.
Then sprinkling sesame seeds on the rice it and garnishing with pickles in the corner.
Taking out the ingredients which had been prepared the night before,and adding the final touches to each dish.
Boiling leaves in plentiful water for marinating.
Cutting everything into the appropriate sizes and filling to fill the second layer of the box.
Hakoniwa (the Miniature Garden) = A world within a BENTO.
I go to work with “my very own garden” hidden in my bag.
It disappears quickly, but brings me happiness through sudden bento-inspirations at work.

Everyone sees their own landscape.

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http://www.minadaimon.com

Minoru Hotsuki – Persona

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Minoru Hotsuki hails form Tokyo and again, is an accomplished print maker and photographer. His series of slightly otherworldly portraits, titled Persona is bizarre yet mesmerising. Taking a leaf from ancient Japanese artists, he photographs his friends in several poses, profile and straight-on, and recomposes the forward looking eye into the profile image. Digital trickery aside, this conceptual portraitist has achieved a look in his series mimicking the cubist painters, and ancient artists from the middle-east, into what is the importance of the all seeing and knowing eye, the window to one’s soul. At first glance, the portraits seem normal, perhaps a slight discomfort faces the viewer, until the technique is disclosed, the notoriety of the work shines through.

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© All images Minoru Hotsuki

http://www.netdandy.wix.com/picturisk

Hiro Tanaka – Dew Dew Dew Its

Hiro Tanaka is a great guy. I would say he is an opportunist photographer. He followed a band across America for months on end, backstage, frontstage, slept in caravans and RVs, city to city, town to town. Attended raves and parties, met countless of peoples, ate fast food, and just photographed everything, from dogs to kids, to strange plants, drunk friends, landscapes, I mean, everything. He showed me his publication called Dew, Dew, Dew, Its (which I still can’t remember what the meaning is) and I laughed. Not because the pictures are funny, although some of them definitely are, but because the photographs captured, by this ‘foreigner’ in the Land of Opportunity is so ‘in your face’ and exposes all the idiosyncrasies of a nation so diverse as is ‘road America’ in all it’s garishness and colour, that only a roadie like Hiro would have been able to capture, living amongst the very people he relied upon for his travel and lifestyle. It reminded me of Martin Parr’s more astutely photographed Think of England series.  Refreshing.

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 All images © Hiro Tanaka

Shinji Ichikawa – Distance

Rarely have I seen ‘open spaces’ in landscapes so well photographed in Shinji Ichikawa’s project Distance. His images are tightly composed and well observed and in some pictures, he intentionally blacked out the sky or background, creating a false negative space which emphasizes the foreground, making the image surrealistic.

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All images © Shinji Ichikawa

http://www.shinjiichikawa.com

Kyoko Yamamoto – Dark series

Kyoko (or Yama as she is known) comes across as a quiet and unassuming photographer, but she has mastered the fine-art aspects of colour, composition and subject matter to high degree of perfection. I did not review her work, but she caught up with me at breakfast on the last day, and offered to show me ‘dark’ series.  Wow, just blew me away!

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© Kyoko Yamamoto

This series comprises of streetscapes, objects and architectural studies processed to a stop or two from total darkness, and offers a nocturnal dreamlike atmosphere punctured by luminous glimmers and shards of light. Totally moody and accomplished work.   www.mwp.xii.jp

Suggestions

For many photographers, portfolio reviews can be a daunting task. What do you show? How do you show? What do you ask? Do you take notes? What if the work is incomplete? What about the statement? I present some suggestions for photographers attending reviews. Bring only the important series from your recent photography, it can be work in progress or recently completed.  Limit them to about 10 to 15 prints per series and a maximum of 2 series, since there will not be sufficient time to view more than about two projects. I would prefer to look through loose prints than prints inserted into presentation folders, since we can re-sequence or pull out inappropriate images on the desk as we discuss the work. Quite often, photographers bring too many photographs from a project, which in actual fact may contain 2 or even 3 series. Editing of the project is really important, as it shows that you are focussed and the project idea is tight and concise. If your statement is too broad, then your images tend to be the same. ~SL

Mt.Rokko International Photo Festival

Mt.Rokko Portfolio Review Feedback – Lim Paik Yin

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Photo by Naohiko Tokuhira

A plethora of thoughts on one’s work could cause a mild concussion. Left unresolved, gives way to a splitting headache. Here is a little guide to ease the pangs of insecurities and host of questions before a portfolio review.

What is a portfolio review ?

One of the reasons of showing your work in prints is to give an overview of your entire project to the reviewers. At best you could get a different perspective of your work. Having the flexibility of loose prints on hand allows the reviewers to edit the work. Think about it this way, a portfolio review can be a space to further push the photography series to another level or it could be a mini interview for your work to get published or shown in a public arena.

Printing the digital images

The first time I held the prints from my Fujifilm 5100 in 2011, excitement weld up despite having seen the images on screen numerous times. There was no thought about paper texture nor colour calibration. Looking back it was a process that I had to go through. So the lessons that I learnt, it always pay to have the monitor calibrated to my regular printer.  After all the time spent editing on screen, it’d be a shame to have prints that is subpar.

Reviewers

Look into the crystal ball and imagine where your work is going to be shown. Once there is a clear idea of where your work would be shown, find out about the reviewers and think if your work would be beneficial from their perspective. A reviewer who comes from a gallery or art magazine views your work differently from a reviewer from a journalistic or documentary background. With multiple lens viewing your work, there is bound to be divergent viewpoints.

Being Reviewed

I’ve always found it easier to communicate through writing or photographs instead of talking about it. Somehow I get tense and stiff especially when there are a barrage of questions or suggestions. I learnt the hard way that it is important to be able to speak about the project as not all reviewers would read the written statement and sometimes what can seem to be a grilling session with reviewers is a process to delve deeper into the subject of the project. So to start with, I introduce myself, pass calling cards and give a short summary of the project that I am showing. In general about 2 or 3 lines. Nerves got to me on my first review and thankfully I wrote short notes with main points on each project. The notes was a good reminder on the points I wanted to highlight during the review especially since 20 minutes is all the time we have.

The 6 reviewers in alphabetical order are Didier Brousse, Yosuke Fujiki, Natalie Matutschovsky, Taj Forer, Takeki Sugiyama and Yumi Goto.

Works reviewed

I brought 2 working series with me to be reviewed, both still work in progress. The first set of photos were from work done at the Exposure+ Mentorship programme in early 2013. The documentary set is called Pockets of Verdure which explored the interactions of the residents of Klang Valley through their gardens in public spaces. Composition of the work was distinctly flat.

The second set of photographs is a set of self portraits exploring what it is to be a woman in relation to my own body and experience living in Malaysia.

Summary of review sessions

Pockets of Verdure – Composition can be worked on. Some reviewers appreciate the flat perspective and some do not. The idea of the work is interesting but visually it can be improved upon.

Self Portrait – Colours are nice but too few images to have a clear idea of what the project is about.  Lots of questions were asked ranging from the size the pictures to feelings about the projects. Since it is from the viewpoint of my ideas of what being a woman is about from the perspective of being a Malaysian, the work can be viewed differently in a different cultures. There were some suggestions on content and I found it helpful to move forward with the project.

Language – As the reviewers are from all over the world, English is not always the reviewer’s first language. There were instances where language was a barrier and some communication was lost in translation. Keep in mind to keep it simple in future.

~ Lim Paik Yin, Malaysia, 09 September 2014

Portfolio Reviews at Mt.Rokko

A warm and humid Kobe greeted us at around midday when the Kansai Airport bus dropped us off at Sannomiya Station on the 28 August. ‘Us’, being the four photographers and myself, ‘Team Malaysia’ on our way to attend the 2nd Mt.Rokko International Photo Festival 2014. I was here in November last year (see here and here ) so there is a familiarity surrounding the event. Not so for the ‘four’ as the thought of attending Portfolio Review sessions over the next two days had put slight fear and anxiety into some of them, as for most, this is their first ever review, and an international panel for that.

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The four were Ailsa Bowyer, Syefry Moniz, Lim Paik Yin and Nadia Jasmine Mahfix. The first three photographers were selected from the alumni of EXPOSURE+, a photo-mentoring program run by myself and several photographers and colleagues in Kuala Lumpur. Nadia had been involved as a participating photographer in the TWO MOUNTAINS PHOTO PROJECT which was part of the Mt.Rokko program of talks, and attended to present her series and took part in the reviews also. They essential presented their portfolios of photographs taken from their experience with the EXPOSURE+ program and came to Mt.Rokko armed with prints in portfolio boxes, folders, dummy books, and not forgetting calling cards. These photographers were selected based on their previous works, and are at a stage in their photography careers where they would benefit from having their works reviewed in an international environment.

No iPads at this review.

Portfolio reviews are an essential and important part of a photographer’s journey to becoming a better and more focussed artist. There can be a limit to attending workshops which give direction and practical tips in self-development, but with reviews, the act of photography takes on a new step, which is the presentation and editing aspects, and are often neglected nowadays, due to the use of on-screen presentations, and lack of opportunities for critical feedback of works.

Reviews are also about communication. Without clear and concise communication through discussions with the reviewer and the photographer, a photographer’s works will only be limited in visibility and understanding. Experienced reviewers can guide and suggest new methodology and editing which may help create tighter narratives or explore new directions.

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Each photographer had the opportunity to meet about 5 to 7 reviewers over both days, and also in casual chats outside the official sessions. In addition to the review sessions, they also displayed their portfolios at an Open Viewing session, open to the public and fellow photographers and reviewers from the festival. This allows a more casual sharing of each other’s photography, and was a valuable opportunity to make new contacts and networking.

Individual feedback from the photographers will follow.

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Follow EXPOSURE+ Photo Mentoring program here

Photo books, Galore!

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Self-published photography books are all the rave at the moment in the photography world. Although photo books have been around, the advent of print-on-demand online services allowed the cost-conscious photographer to order single or multiple copies at very low costs, where before, the creation of photography books had to go through the usual route of seeking a publisher, raising the necessary funds as well, to stocking and retailing. Wedding photographers today never had it so good. Only five to ten years ago, producing one-off wedding albums for clients were either DIY scrap-book material or prohibitively costly industry printed glossy affairs.

Today, many specialist printers are springing up to offer low run orders strictly geared towards the enthusiast photographer with a portfolio or two to show, and the design tools are becoming extremely sophisticated.

In October, along with the other mentors on the KLPA Exposure+ Photo Project Mentoring Program,  and our participants attended the second IPA Photo Books Show in Singapore organised by Kevin WY Lee of Invisible Photographer Asia. It was timely as the participants duly completed their 3 month-based photo projects earlier in June, and had further time to develop and design their photo books to coincide with this event. Not knowing what to expect, they were all geared up to self-promote their publications with great enthusiasm.

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The event was hosted by the National Museum of Singapore and stretched out for two whole days of the weekend, with Saturday morning allocated for setting up our ‘Malaysian’ stand.  The day was interspersed with several book launches and talks at regular intervals with the public mingling and browsing rows and rows of photography books from many different genres. There were at least 200+ titles available for viewing, and many of the photographers were present also. For this event, the organiser called in books from SE Asia so there were publications and mock-ups from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines and also Japan.

Also launching at the event was Kevin WY Lee’s instalment of the TwentyFifiteen.sg photo book initiative by Platform titled Bay of Dreams. More about this project in the link.

The weekend generated much publicity for our participants, who also had the opportunity to ‘plug’ their own books to the gathered public on the rostrum, and this is a great way to bring identity and visibility and also confidence to the photographer, as often is the case, ‘the artist is the art, and the photograph is the commemorative’.

As the weekend came to a close, Kevin indicated that this second Photo Books Show generated sales of about SGD$20,000 and attracted  1,200 visitors. There were also 15 new book launches over the weekend and much publicity was generated online. For our contingent, everyone went home satisfied and pumped up, each with several sales of their ‘first’ book under their belt, and many new friends made. The event opened our eyes to the growing interest in self-published books, especially in Asia, and that sales can be a reality, if you have a genuine and interesting series of photographic works to be printed into a book. Definitely back for more next year. On a more personal scale, photography books also help photographers focus more on their projects in definite ways, in terms of editing and presentation, allowing serious in-depth thought, through the development and progression of their creative processes.

I would like to extend our thanks to IPA and the Platform bunch for inviting us to the event. We hope for a bigger event next year.

More here on the IPA website and more on EXPOSURE+ here.

Addendum

Still on the subject of photography books, I had the honour of meeting Fabrice Wagner who runs Le Caillou Bleu – a specialist fine art publisher based in Brussels, recently at the Mt Rokko International Photography Festival, in Kobe, Japan. Do check out his online catalog of some fine collectable books by emerging and established photographers. I came away from this festival with several self-published photobooks presented to me by the photographers I reviewed. The most amazing little photobook one could ever receive was from Miki Hasegawa, titled Jewels, a handmade ‘accordion’ style book, no more than 3 inches square, with pastel images of  photographs about her home taken from a child’s eye level of her daughter. Simply gorgeous.

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EXPOSURE+2 Photography Project Mentoring Programme

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KLPA is announcing a second round of EXPOSURE+ Photography Mentoring Programme following the recent conclusion of the pilot session, in which our participants proudly displayed their final projects at a public exhibition at Galeri PETRONAS in conjunction with the KLPA13 Winners and Finalists exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.   (May 23rd to June 23rd, 2013)

The EXPOSURE+2 programme is a time-limited, 3-month long program where our mentors will assist and guide you in identifying stories, ideas or concepts that you can execute into a photography project, through to editing, sequencing and ultimately, creating a visually flowing and personally satisfying photo-book.

More below :

What is the Mentoring Program?

This is a 3-month ‘one-to-one’ photography mentoring program which begins from mid July – September, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur. The program aims to assist photographers on

  • How to develop a strong and visually challenging photography project from concept to presentation
  • How to develop, identify and execute a cohesive body of work based on a concept
  • How to self-edit, sequence and present your own project images
  • How to put together a portfolio for effective presentation


How will this be accomplished?

Through several regular one-to-one constructive critique review sessions with our facilitators –

Eiffel Chong – contemporary photographer/lecturer
Erna Dyanty –  photography researcher/curator
Steven V-L Lee – freelance photographer (* online interaction only)

Suitability?

This program is open to novice, serious hobbyists and professional photographers who are seeking to develop their skills in producing personal photography projects, and may benefit from guided mentoring through greater focus in developing concepts from ideas, seeing it to fruition in a personal photobook. You will be required to be dedicated and fully resigned to completing this program within the time allocated.

How do I apply?

Interested photographers will have to send in a brief project proposal with a short statement why you wish to participate in this program.  The projects proposed can be based on documentary or fine art, but may only be general ideas at this stage. Describe briefly your intent on realising this project, ie. why you think it is a worthwhile project.  There will be a limited number of participants.

Photographers will need to have basic photography skills and camera techniques as this is not a technical workshop. Facilitators will not specifically teach image editing or other technical photography skills.

Important Dates

Application  closes 14 July, 2013 and will be on ‘first come’ basis. There will be limited entries. 

Participants will be notified of their mentor based on the relevancy of their project, by 20th July, 2013.

We aim to present a completed photo-book, either jointly or individually  and participate at the 2nd IPA Photo-Book Festival happening 19/20 October!

Send in your details as follow, to erna@klphotoawards.com or +60 12 231 0961 or info@explorenation.net

Name
Email contact
Telephone contact
Website (if any)
Project statement (please state overall ideas and concept, interests )

Contact info

Steven Lee      info@explorenation.net
Erna Dyanty  erna@klphotoawards.com +60 12 231 0961

Eiffel Chong  eiffelchong@gmail.com

Is this a paid workshop and what is included?

Program Fee –  RM750, which includes

  • Regular one-to-one mentoring over three month through direct contact with facilitators. There will be a meet-up session every fortnight to assess progress and discuss your project.
  • A brief tutorial on how to put together a portfolio photobook.
  • You will also join the Alumni of explorenation.net and participate in their future events.
  • Join us on Facebook for updates or just to say Hi!


About our Mentors 

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Eiffel Chong

Eiffel Chong graduated with an MA in International Contemporary Art and Design Practice from the University of East London. He is currently a photography lecturer at an art institution in Malaysia. Chong has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Malaysia and around the world. Among the exhibitions are: Silent Auction at London College of Communication, London, 2008; A New Wave of Responsive Images at Nikon Ginza Gallery, Tokyo, 2009; and CUT2010: Parallel Universe, which toured Southeast Asia, showing at Valentine Willie Fine Art Kuala Lumpur & Singapore, Sangkring Art Space, Jogjakarta and Manila Contemporary, Philippines. Chong has participated in the Singapore International Photography Festival 2008, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore.
http://www.eiffelchong.com

Erna Dyanty

Erna Dyanty graduated with an MA in Arts Management from UKM. She is a self taught photographer and is a practicing contemporary art photography.  She was nominated to participate in the Asian Europe Foundation Emerging Photographers Forum in 2009. Her works have been featured in CUT 2008: A Survey of New Photography in South East Asia, Kuala Lumpur,  A New Wave of Responsive Images at Nikon Ginza Gallery, Tokyo, 2009; Theerta International Women Photography Exhibition, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2011 and DATUM KL in 2011.

Erna has also worked creatively to produce photographic works for Frangipani Bar & Restaurant, Alexis Bistro, Concorde Hotel and Dwell Asia Magazine. She has also curated a number of photography exhibitions in Kuala Lumpur, Vision & Sound: a survey of underground music photographers, MAP KL, 2010, ROCK KAKA, at Project Room VWFA 2009, Neither East nor West: Collections from the Lafayette Studio of Photography London, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 2007 and The Formation of A Nation: A Photographic Flashback, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 2012.

Steven V-L Lee

Steven Lee began his photographic career as a documentary and travel photographer in the late 90′s when began writing travel related articles for magazines and journals. In 2000, he published his first coffee-table book titled Outside Looking In : Kuala Lumpur, which received the Asian Prize at Photo City Sagamihara Festival of the Image, Japan in 2007. Part of the collection is held with the City of Sagamihara National Photographic Archives. His commercial portraiture and fashion work has graced the covers of License! Europe, Country Club UK and Masterpiece and Asiana magazines. In 2008, Steven was involved in portfolio reviews at Cultivate, a Rhubarb-Rhubarb initiative for graduates in Photography, to prepare and guide them in portfolio preparation and exhibitions.

Steven is the founder and project director of the KL INTERNATIONAL PHOTOAWARDS, an annual international portrait photography competition centred in Malaysia, focussing on the best in contemporary portrait photography since 2009, and is considered of the the Top50 contests in the world. Steven also blogs at explorenation.net and has run workshops at Lim Kok Wing University London, in Kuala Lumpur as well as travel tours, with photographer Andy Craggs, as Explorenation World Photography Workshops.
http://www.stevenleephotography.com



EXPOSURE+
is explorenation’s new photography program which is formulated to encourage members to get involve and participate in regular meet ups, exhibitions, present new work, network with other photographers and enthusiasts, and have fun! Our first event was a SlideShare evening on Tuesday 24th July at the French Art Gallery in London. Since then we have had a total of three SlideShare evenings in 2012.

EXPOSURE+ now has a Malaysian chapter!  February 2013, we ran a 3-month pilot Photography Project Mentoring Program.

‘Photography for All’
explorenation.net runs travel photography, publishing, exhibition, photography education and workshops. Started by Steven V-L Lee, an award winning UK based freelance photographer and Andy Craggs in 2008, explorenation.net is dedicated to the personal advancement of photographic objectives for all enthusiasts. We believe in the universal language of the ‘photograph’ and that photography should be accessible to everyone, and continue to break the elitism that plagues so many aspects of contemporary practice. explorenation.net also project manages the annual KL International Photoawards for contemporary portraiture.

Please email us if you are interested in joining our workshops and become Alumni.
http://www.explorenation.net


 

EXPOSURE+ Mentoring Program is launched!

Following from our recent successful 1-Day workshops in collaboration with Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, explorenation is proud to announce a pilot photography mentoring program in Kuala Lumpur, aimed at newcomers and experience photographers wishing to initiate their own personal projects. This is a time-based, 3 month long program where our mentors will assist and guide you in identifying stories, ideas or concepts that you can execute into a photography project, through to editing, sequencing and ultimately, creating a visually flowing and personally satisfying photo-book. You will also be invited to present your project in a brief talk at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, in June 2013.  More below :

POSTER1

What is the Mentoring Program?

This is a 3-month ‘one-to-one’ photography mentoring program which begins from February – April 2013 in Kuala Lumpur. The program aims to assist photographers on

  • How to develop a strong and visually challenging photography project from concept to presentation
  • How to develop, identify and execute a cohesive body of work based on a concept
  • How to self-edit, sequence and present your own project images
  • How to put together a portfolio for effective presentation


How will this be accomplished?

Through several regular one-to-one constructive critique review sessions with our facilitators –
Eiffel Chong – contemporary photographer/lecturer
Erna Dyanty –  photography researcher/curator
Steven V-L Lee – freelance photographer (* online interaction only)

Suitability?

This program is open to novice, serious hobbyists and professional photographers who are seeking to develop their skills in producing personal photography projects, and may benefit from guided mentoring through greater focus in developing concepts from ideas, seeing it to fruition in a personal photobook. You will be required to be dedicated and fully resigned to completing this program in the time allocated.

How do I apply?

Interested photographers will have to send in a project proposal with a short statement why you wish to participate in this program.  The projects proposed can be based on documentary or fine art, but may only be general ideas at this stage. Describe briefly your intent on realising this project, ie. why you think it is a worthwhile project.  There will be a limited number of participants.

Photographers will need to have basic photography skills and camera techniques as this is not a technical workshop. Facilitators will not specifically teach image editing or other technical photography skills.

Application opens December 31, 2012 and closes January 9, 2013 and will be on ‘first come’ basis. There will be limited entries. 

Participants will be notified of their mentor based on the relevancy of their project, and of the first session by February 1, 2013.

Send in your details as follow, to erna@klphotoawards.com or +60 12 231 0961

Name
Email contact
Telephone contact
Website (if any)
Project statement (please state overall ideas and concept, interests )

Is this a paid workshop and what is included?

Program Fee –  RM650, which includes

  • Regular one-to-one mentoring over three month through direct contact with facilitators. There will be a meet-up session every fortnight to assess progress and discuss your project.
  • A brief tutorial on how to put together a portfolio photobook.
  • An A4 photobook, of your project put together by you for your personal keeping.
  • 5 x A4 photo prints that will be exhibited by EXPOSURE + in conjunction with KL International Photoawards Finalists Exhibition in June 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
  • An invitation to present your completed project to an audience during the public exhibition at the KLPA Talk Series in June 2013
  • You will also join the Alumni of explorenation.net and participate in their future events.


About our Mentors 

POSTER2

Eiffel Chong

Eiffel Chong graduated with an MA in International Contemporary Art and Design Practice from the University of East London. He is currently a photography lecturer at an art institution in Malaysia. Chong has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Malaysia and around the world. Among the exhibitions are: Silent Auction at London College of Communication, London, 2008; A New Wave of Responsive Images at Nikon Ginza Gallery, Tokyo, 2009; and CUT2010: Parallel Universe, which toured Southeast Asia, showing at Valentine Willie Fine Art Kuala Lumpur & Singapore, Sangkring Art Space, Jogjakarta and Manila Contemporary, Philippines. Chong has participated in the Singapore International Photography Festival 2008, Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore.
http://www.eiffelchong.com

Erna Dyanty

Erna Dyanty graduated with an MA in Arts Management from UKM. She is a self taught photographer and is a practicing contemporary art photography.  She was nominated to participate in the Asian Europe Foundation Emerging Photographers Forum in 2009. Her works have been featured in CUT 2008: A Survey of New Photography in South East Asia, Kuala Lumpur,  A New Wave of Responsive Images at Nikon Ginza Gallery, Tokyo, 2009; Theerta International Women Photography Exhibition, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2011 and DATUM KL in 2011.

Erna has also worked creatively to produce photographic works for Frangipani Bar & Restaurant, Alexis Bistro, Concorde Hotel and Dwell Asia Magazine. She has also curated a number of photography exhibitions in Kuala Lumpur, Vision & Sound: a survey of underground music photographers, MAP KL, 2010, ROCK KAKA, at Project Room VWFA 2009, Neither East nor West: Collections from the Lafayette Studio of Photography London, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 2007 and The Formation of A Nation: A Photographic Flashback, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 2012.

Steven V-L Lee

Steven Lee began his photographic career as a documentary and travel photographer in the late 90’s when began writing travel related articles for magazines and journals. In 2000, he published his first coffee-table book titled Outside Looking In : Kuala Lumpur, which received the Asian Prize at Photo City Sagamihara Festival of the Image, Japan in 2007. Part of the collection is held with the City of Sagamihara National Photographic Archives.
His commercial portraiture and fashion work has graced the covers of License! Europe, Country Club UK and Masterpiece and Asiana magazines. In 2008, Steven was involved in portfolio reviews at Cultivate, a Rhubarb-Rhubarb initiative for graduates in Photography, to prepare and guide them in portfolio preparation and exhibitions.

In 2009, Steven initiated the KL PHOTOAWARDS, an annual international portrait photography competition centred in Malaysia, focussing on the best in contemporary portrait photography and has attracted the participation of some top international photographers. Steven also blogs at explorenation.net and has run workshops at Lim Kok Wing University London, in Kuala Lumpur as well as travel tours.
http://www.stevenleephotography.com



EXPOSURE+
is explorenation’s new photography program which is formulated to encourage members to get involve and participate in regular meet ups, exhibitions, present new work, network with other photographers and enthusiasts, and have fun! Our first event was a SlideShare evening on Tuesday 24th July at the French Art Gallery in London. Since then we have had a total of three SlideShare evenings in 2012.

EXPOSURE+ now has a Malaysian chapter! Starting in February 2013, we will be running a 3-month pilot Photography Project Mentoring Program.

‘Photography for All’
explorenation.net runs travel photography, publishing, exhibition, photography education and workshops. Started by Steven V-L Lee, an award winning UK based freelance photographer and Andy Craggs in 2008, explorenation.net is dedicated to the personal advancement of photographic objectives for all enthusiasts. We believe in the universal language of the ‘photograph’ and that photography should be accessible to everyone, and continue to break the elitism that plagues so many aspects of contemporary practice. explorenation.net also project manages the annual KL International Photoawards for contemporary portraiture.

Please email us if you are interested in joining our workshops and become Alumni.
http://www.explorenation.net



Contact info
Erna Dyanty    erna@klphotoawards.com  +60 12 231 0961