This video was kindly produced by Yahoo and the Flickr team in New York in 2014 and it represents my artist statement visually and verbally.
The seasons have a magical way of easing us into the inescapable reality that time passes and waits for no one. Before the grey starkness of winter, we are flooded by a gush of warm color to keep us hopeful for the coming of spring. Nature is the best artist.
These recent images from my Instagram page have been titled “chasing spirits”, and for the first time I find myself seeing a distinct line running through these street portraits that were taken by me in different Asian countries but solicit the same emotional reaction from me. There is something that draws me in to the internal processes of strangers through the maps of their faces, the history recorded in their eyes and the roadmaps of their lives in every line and wrinkle that cause me to pause and wonder: what drives me to chase these images and irks me to go to more places and stop, look and capture? It’s a strong driving force that never relents and I am hoping that after the chase, the cause may reveal itself. It’s a journey of passion and every moment brings me closer to myself…
Never before have I felt so unsure about what the future holds as I do today. Every morning, a new story in the news stranger than the next, wold leadership try to force the strangest and lowest of standards as the new norm and the first signs of tremors as the future threatens to eradicate the past. Anyone not feeling this must be sleep walking through life and bouncing from distraction to escape. How did we get here and what will our children’s world look like?
The greatest part of living in Europe is the proximity of different cities with their varied history and culture and if you enjoy photography and travel as I do, then magic is just a few hours away.
Now being back home in Germany, the short journey feels like a pleasant dream added to my visual diary of this amazing world we live in.
When I examine my days carefully, looking for moments of peace, of clarity, of calm and reflective processes, I realize that almost always, these are moments of being alone. I remember in my early twenties when I went to India for the first time and tried out a month long silence, the most surprising result of that was the realization that we are never really alone. So much goes on in our minds and faculty when we are alone, that we find ourselves able to understand ourselves so much better and to stand under the reality of our situation at any given moment. A day spent without any ‘me’ time is a day not enjoyed fully. I do not exaggerate when I say that I rarely ever feel lonely when I am alone. There is a huge difference between the 2 states. What is loneliness really? Could it be the fear of getting to know ourselves? I love my own company and have loved it since I was a young child. This makes me value time with others in a different way and in turn makes me more selective of who I share time with. It is such a valuable commodity in a most certainly mortal life.
daily posts on my INSTAGRAM page
One of my favorite things about big cities is movement. People moving, going places, coming from places, going up stairs, crossing roads, cycling, running, walking and playing a part in rotating the great metropolis wheel. It’s the urban magic waiting for us photographers on every corner.
Visiting the city we called home for almost 12 years is nothing short of strange at first. But within a day or two I felt the streets call me back with their charm, unique flair and warmth of the people. So little of the old city is left as the large construction projects drive forward leaving bits and pieces of the beautiful old alleys around the city. As I walk around and find huge empty lots and big buildings on the sites of my favorite alleys, I realize that all my photography over the years in Shanghai has been about recording history and vanishing alleys that are never to come back again…
All images taken during a meetup of photographers I organized last Saturday in Kunst im Tunnel museum in Düsseldorf.
I think the beat way to feel the souls of a place is to meet it at a magical moment, a time when something as common as night surrendering to day never fails to amaze us. Every time that I witness a sunrise, it seems as if I gained a chunk of time, a bonus bit of living that would otherwise have been lost to me.
Vibrant, colorful, artful, tolerant, cosmopolitan, reasonable, creative, culinary, interesting… some words that pop in my mind when I reflect on Berlin. Few days were just a teaser for me and they just tug at me to visit again and again. What a city!