Agan Harahap is a young Indonesian photographer with one wicked sense of humor.
The interaction of light and shadow is fascinating. Shadows captured by the lens of Vangelis Paterakis evoke dreams of shadow and light with elongated shapes and softness of lightning. It’s a rare technique.
With his Shadow Light creation, Greek photographer, Vangelis Paterakis captures human bodies in motion under the light. He builds contrast between the background and subject. The figures become expressive and recognizable when the real and the abstract appear side by side. He is almost trying to withdraw the attention from the subject to only project their soul. A cool detached and conceptual aspect of humans.
And again, Minimalism has presented us with their wonder found.
“I was brought up in a quasi-liberal Peranakan family that had women dominating bulk of the household of my growing up. The only father figure I had and recalled was my grandfather, my Gong Gong, who still lives on today despite a twin pack of Dunhill Reds everyday. I think of him as an African owl, discerning, charismatic, but very, very silent. Subtle.
Women were the new patriarch in this other family I had. They had the final say, or thought they did. My grandmother, or Mama, was the Godfather of the family. It was only so because the only man in the household didn’t care to voice out his silent opinions much. The other male figure in the house, me, myself, was just contented with suckling his pacifier and drinking warm Ribena. I was always seen with my pacifier.
She taught me how to hold my first pencil, sharpened my colored pencils, but never saw through my holding of a pen. I was still seen with my pacifier then.
I also remember us watching Wheel of Fortune together, every evening without fail. Mama and Gong Gong could always solve the puzzles comfortably before the contestants did. They never spoke a word of Mandarin. Then we would switch on to teletext while they stared intently at the pixelated screen trying to find their numbers in the day’s 4D lottery draw.
I was wrenched away from the nestling warmth of my Mama’s bosom, the only family I knew. Till then, I only saw my parents seven times; once every year during Chinese New Year. My “real parents”, they said, wanted to take me home. I was torn, devastated, destroyed. And I knew my Gong Gong was too.
But he never said a thing. ‘I love you, take care of yourself, come visit us often.’ That day, I learnt that some things were never meant to be said. I left my Mama’s house with my pacifier in my mouth, crying.
I hated my new home. I hated the coldness of my new house, my new room. I hated how the cold winds in the new East Coast flat frequently made me feel naked, alone, and vulnerable. My parents never kissed me goodnight or hugged me or watched Wheel of Fortune with me. I wasn’t even allowed to suckle on my favourite pacifier. I would cry to myself to bed, or crawl out of bed to telephone Mama. “Mama, I want to go back to Mama house. I don’t like the food here. They don’t talk to me much. Nobody teaches me English spelling anymore. I want to go back to Mama house.”
Then I’ll be caught by my parents, chided and sent to bed. Why are you crying for? What’s wrong with you?”
Whenever I visited the zoo as a child, the experience was always joyful. The animals looked beautiful and happy. But as an adult revisiting the zoo, the experience changed.
I see sadness and loneliness in these animals. They look trapped in their confinement. Living each day like a routine. In comparison, I appreciate my world for its freedom and its constant changes.
Why has my perception changed? I am probably seeing some sort of self reflection in them. As I age, I see the world around me a little differently. Am I truly living my life to the fullest? Or am I living a similarly confined life like these animals, ‘performing’ daily to the expectations of others and society?
- John Clang