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Philippe Fatin
Philippe Fatin
Philippe Fatin

Philippe Fatin

Country: France
Birth: 1962

Philippe Fatin is a photographer and a great traveller: after first stays in Mexico and South America, he discovered Asia (Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Korea) and fell in love with China and more particularly with the region of Guizhou. After an interlude with the Wayanas Indians in French Guyana and the publication of his first book Guyane terre d'espace, he multiplies his travels to the Miao people of Guizhou and ends up residing there for more than twenty years. He published a book Randonnée d'un photographe voyageur in China and exhibits at the Guiyang museum, he also publishes in the national and international press. He is also a collector, organized various exhibitions of his personal collections in French museums: Gold and lacquers from Burma, tribal textiles from southwest China, Nuo masks from the exorcism theatre of China accompanied by publications.

In The Mounts of the Moon
When I got off the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1985, I knew nothing about China.
The blue of the heater set the tone on a red background.
I spent the first two years getting to know this culture, before discovering a province in the southwest that was still untouched by any contact with the outside world.
The last Westerners present in the region were missionaries, who were driven out of it in 1949 by the communists.
The province of Guizhou is one of the poorest, along with that of Gansu.
"There are never three days of good weather in a row, the inhabitant does not have three sapeques in his pocket, and there are not three lilies of the flat country." That sets the tone.
This province is rich in the diversity of its ethnic minorities, who had managed to maintain an authentic way of life. The villages still lived in autarky, protected by the mountain rampart. Ninety percent of the territory is karst peaks.
My camera equipment consists of two Leica M6 cameras and four lenses: 28, 35, 50, and 90mm.
With 270 days of rain per year and a constant fog, I use 400 ASA B/W silver film.
The access of this province being forbidden to tourism, the task was not easy.
The game of cat and mouse with the local authorities was not a perennial solution to penetrate these misty mountains concealing so many secrets.
My approach was to establish a base in the provincial capital.
I made "Guangxi" connections, and gained the trust of the people and the local authorities.
I worked hard to make them understand my work of investigating ethnic groups, especially the Miaos.
I obtained special permits to stay in various valleys and villages.
After years, I was able to set up different bases in villages that were completely self-sufficient.
Sharing the intimacy of the people and building trust, I was able to open the doors to them. My curiosity allowed the rest
It would absorb twenty years of my life, during which I photographed a way of life that surged from festivals governed by the gods and the seasons.
The evolution of the country a galloping modernization was going to change the situation.
Obeying the three priorities of the government: water, electricity and roads, the opening up of the province would radically shape a new face of the population and its environment.
In fifteen intervals, my photographic work has thus taken on a patrimonial status.
A massive folklorization of ethnic groups (amusement park, pilot village,) their acculturation by the Han mass, the race for enrichment, have contributed to a new mode of integration of these ethnic minorities.
This modernization of China and its brutal change of vision of society, over a short period of time, swept away ancestral cultures.
Few Westerners have lived in this province, which is now crossed by highways connecting Shanghai, or Guangzhou.
My photos are a testimony acquired over the long term, on a way of life that is disappearing in favour of a strong nationalism.
It seems to me essential to show the cultural richness of this people, (Nine million people).
The province of Guizhou is the home of the Miao diaspora (more than three hundred clans), a threatened melting pot of traditions and rituals mostly ignored by the Han.
Indeed, in this rapidly changing society, the peasant populations, known as "floating", have been the cheap labour of China's economic departure.
 

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Sean Perry
United States
1968
Sean Perry is a fine-art photographer living and working in New York City and Austin, Texas. His photographs and books center on architecture, space and light - expressing the ambiance felt within built environments. He is currently completing three series/books on New York City entitled Monolith, Gotham and Fotopolis, as well as exhibiting a recently completed body of work on the dreamscape of temporary environments, Fairgrounds. Perry attended Berklee College of Music and was a working musician before turning to photography in 1996. His photographs and books have been acquired by notable private collectors including Manfred Heiting and Alan Siegel in addition to being held in the permanent collections of the Museum Fine Arts Houston, the Amon Carter Museum, Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography, and the Harry Ransom Center. Cloverleaf Press published Perry's first limited edition book, Transitory in 2006, and followed with a second title, Fairgrounds in the Fall of 2008. In 2009 he was selected as a finalist for the Hasselblad Masters award for his work and book Fairgrounds. His photographs have been published widely including the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Graphis, Camera Arts, New York Magazine, Billboard and American Photography. He has served as an adjunct Professor of Photography in Austin since 2001 as well as an adjunct Professor for the School of Visual Arts in New York City since 2006. Perry frequently contributes his photographs to auctions that benefit photographic and social concerns. His work is represented by the Stephen L. Clark Gallery, Austin. Interview with Sean Perry All About Photo: When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer? Sean Perry: When I was younger I didn't know or have access to any professional photographers, but I really loved movies and looked at a lot of books. At that time I got into music and everything else was just secondary. As a musician I always thought about pictures and the visual atmosphere great songs provoke and in my thirties I started photographing and haven’t stopped. AAP: Where did you study photography? With whom? SP: I don’t have a formal background studying photography but it’s not quite right to say I'm self taught either. One of my old bandmates, Jeff Miller is a brother to me, a great photographer and my first teacher - I learned about cameras, making good pictures and printing in the darkroom. That experience was also my first big introduction to contemporary artists like Joel-Peter Witkin and The Starns. I later had important mentors in a photographer I assisted for, Frank Curry and a sculptor who has had a tremendous influence on me as an artist and photographer, John Christensen. AAP:Do you have a mentor? SP: I have a few friends and colleagues who I admire and trust that I ask for insight and guidance with various things... Elizabeth Avedon, Jace Graf, Stephen Clark - there are others. I ask different people, different questions for different reasons if that makes sense. I think it's important to deeply consider who you ask and why. I've been a client of Mary Virginia Swanson for many years and her savvy is always invaluable, I truly owe her a great deal. I'm always learning and seeking out the chance to improve and grow. AAP: How long have you been a photographer? SP: I have been making pictures consistently since 1996 and started working professionally in 1998. AAP: Do you remember your first shot? What was it? SP: What I remember most are the pictures that when I saw the film, they made me feel that the image was somehow better, or more than my capability at the time. It would lead to months of chasing and trying to catch up to the image. The first time that happened was of a barren tree in the wintertime, backlit. I remember making the other pictures from that time, but the experience of seeing something unexpected back on the contact sheets always sticks with me as meaningful. AAP: What or who inspires you? SP: Music always. Also the discovery and study of people that give themselves to their pursuits with the discipline and heart to be excellent. New York City. Late fall leading to snow and cold weather makes me happy. AAP: How could you describe your style? SP: A little romantic but not sentimental - sci-fi but not overtly conceptual. I always work to make beautiful images and objects that don’t apologize for their consideration of aesthetic and design. My experience has taught me there is a strange, small line between beautiful and pretty, arbitrary and yet often substantial. I think my favorite word or aim for my work is earnest, and hopefully elegant. I try to be consistent and to quote someone I deeply respect, Paul Rand – "Don’t try to be original, just try to be good." AAP: What kind of gear do you use? Camera, lens, digital, film? SP: I’m fluent in digital tools and use them to manage images online etcetera, but I have used the same camera gear for over twelve years. Hasselblad 501CM with a 120mm lens and 25A Red filter. Tri-X film in A12 backs. Processed in D76, 1 to 1. Silver gelatin prints bleached and then toned in combinations of sepia and selenium or platinum–palladium prints from enlarged negatives. AAP: Do you spend a lot of time editing your images? SP: I tend to run film and then not look at it for a while.... I then go through the contact sheets and make work prints of the things that seem to have promise. As the series and work evolves the process of editing, sequencing and design kicks in. After the edges of a project are more or less in place, I’ll go back again and see what I may have missed on the contact sheets. AAP: Favorite(s) photographer(s)? SP: If I am only allowed one, Irving Penn – hands down, no one else. I love books and too many favorites to list, but in no particular order others would be Saul Leiter, Ted Croner, Robert & Shana Parke-Harrison, Tom Baril, Louis Faurer, Edward Burtynsky, Albert Watson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Berenice Abbott and Matt Mahurin. AAP: What advice would you give a young photographer? SP: Fearlessly make all the bad pictures you need to in order to get to the good ones. Not thoughtlessly in the number of images, but without hesitation in the intent to chase your ideas. When you are disappointed, try to understand why specifically – was it a technical mistake your effort and experience will resolve over time or was it about vision in what you could or could not see at that moment. The technical things are usually easier to improve upon, I have found the other takes additional perseverance and courage. For myself there is always the confrontation of closing the distance between the potency I’m after and the many challenges at hand while guiding it there. I think the biggest secret is simply not to quit. AAP: What mistake should a young photographer avoid? SP: Everyone is different, so very hard to say. I believe one truth for myself has been it’s more valuable to invest time in what your pictures, your life, your point of view are all about and less energy worrying about the urgency sometimes encouraged in technology and shorter term concerns. Play long ball. AAP: An idea, a sentence, a project you would like to share? 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Ken Hermann
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Gregory Dargent
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Gregory Dargent is a French musician and photographer born in 1977 in Argenteuil. A graduate of the Strasbourg Conservatoire, he has an international career as a musician (electric guitar and oud) as well as a composer. His creations have taken him all over the world, from the Berlin Philharmonic to a small place in the Itabuna Church in Brazil, from the Doha Oud Festival to the "Poisson Rouge" in New York, from the Jazz Festival in Cairo to the auditorium of Warsaw Radio. Somewhat belatedly fascinated by photography he discovered it accidentally the day of his 38th birthday, anchored in the temporality of film, committed to the abstraction of black and white and advocating its subjectivity, he created in 2018 the Book H., published by Saturn, his first photographic work. It is an echo in images to the disc H (contemporary trio setting to music the French nuclear tests in the Sahara). This book tells his feelings and his personal awareness during 3 short trips around the seventeenth ground zero French atomic explosions in the 60s, in Reggane and Tamanrasset, Algeria. His book is acclaimed by the press (Christmas selection Telerama for the book + CD, L'Humanité, L'Oeil de la Photographie, L'Interval, "Par les temps qui courent" on France Culture) and became the subject of his very first exhibition as part of the collective exhibition "Le Rêve d'un mouvement" in Paris in January 2019, alongside, among others, Gilles Roudière, Damien Daufresne, Stephane Charpentier and Gael Bonnefon. This exhibition then travelled to Studio Spiral (Grenoble) in March/April 2019, at Retine Argentique (Marseille) in April/May 2019, Sharjah Art Foundation (E.A.U), Galerie VU'(Paris), Dar Abdelaatif in Algiers and will be on view at Studio Baxton (Brussels) in 2020. He is selected in 2019 as a "young talent photographer in residence" as part of the Festival Planche (s) Contact of Deauville for which he will create a new exhibition, L'Echappée, and is currently working on his next personal projects, mixing photography, video super 8 and music. The first project is about spirituality and poetry in Haiti, "Black Venus", the second one is about the feeling of underground life mixed with ancient mythologies in Cairo (with musician and photographer Frederic D. Oberland).
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