24th June 2004, 02:01 PM
I think his work is mediocre to say the least. Honestly.
24th June 2004, 02:44 PM
I really appreciate hearing from the horses' mouth, and things are now a bit clearer. I especially appreciated the explanation of "Ghosts". Honestly, though, I would have expected a better technical execution of the concept (eg blobs of water hanging in the air rather than just a stream of water down the frame).
And I suppose that's what it boils down to. I went down to see technically superior photography (being a photographer myself, that would be what I would be interested in). There was none of that, only artistic sentiments expressed through ordinary snapshots. Even then, I would have expected these sentiments to be expressed with some photographic flair. After all, the artist's claim to fame is as a photographer. I suppose there must have been some reason to withhold the commercial talent in expressing artistic sentiment, and I would be curious to know what that reason was.
There is too much interpretation required. The work of art should be able to speak for itself. Otherwise it's like a silly, irritating game my kids have picked up from their classmates, where they pose an impossible situation, and ask you to explain it. When you are unable to do so, they give you an answer which you could only have arrived at if you had been aware of a piece of information which had not been previously supplied.
Anyway, what do I know?
24th June 2004, 02:45 PM
Hey, if you need to explain your "art", then something is wrong. Good luck!
Originally Posted by clang
24th June 2004, 03:09 PM
Sorry JC...these words still kept playing in my head,"When you paint, your painting depicts you...if you are lost, everyone will. Aesthetics is everywhere." got this advice from a china art lecturer.
24th June 2004, 03:38 PM
I have grown up and lived in a urban city for the last 30 years. This constantly intense, fast growing environment has sort of moulded me into who I am. I'm a paranoid, a worrier but at the same time an optimist, constantly in survival mode. The idea of simply being alive or
a life form truly intrigues me.
My work in a most subtle manner speaks about life and being alive. It is an acute observation or reflection of my persona. My immediate environment effects me in a consistent pattern
evoking growth. Through my work I understand my life, my obsession and my fear.
It is a kind of visual dairy which seemingly looks detached from daily life, but emotionally much more intense. It allows me to look at the past with minute details of an emotional and
mental state, but without a sense of nostaligia. By doing that, it helps me to have a better grasp of the present and future.The passion of living grows with my work, consistently reminding me of the magic of life.
24th June 2004, 03:45 PM
Guess everyone has a mental diary to unfold pictorially. I guess my 6 year old niece would be holding her exhibition in MOMA soon too. She uses a p & s now. You should check out her work. She has a lot to show, but not much to explain.
24th June 2004, 04:25 PM
i really must see this exhibition soon, so much controversey generated.
Originally Posted by Minoxman
anyhow i also want to go about earning my million dollars, get out from my 3room rathole. shoot for maybe Yohji Yamamoto or Martin Margiala.
i have already made my first step, bought 2 p&s cameras, going to buy films later. Terry Richardson, watch out......
no insult to anyone, and please don't love to hate me, learn to understand where i'm coming from. thanks!
24th June 2004, 09:25 PM
I think you've got to get over the whole "technical" aspect of photography. it's just another medium. more important than how technically perfect a piece is is the message within the piece. I'm sure Clang can shoot a pristine picture with the best equipment if he wanted to. if he chooses to shoot in a manner that seems point and shoot perhaps it is because the method suits the concept.
Originally Posted by Minoxman
And yes sometimes artists have to explain their art because people are so caught up focusing on secondary things like how technically perfect a piece is that they miss the artist's intention.
24th June 2004, 10:09 PM
Isn't the character the guy who is the cobbler working under the walkway beside the Somerset MRT carpark by the Specialist Center. I think there is quite a resemblance.
Originally Posted by clang
24th June 2004, 11:34 PM
You missed the whole point. Point is, JC's work aren't technically outstanding but commonplace. Anyone with anything to say or a concept to showcase could have done the same thing. If you jumble his work with some of the pictures in this forum, I would have bet you can't pick his masterpieces out from the lot. At least I can't. Now is that unappreciative of his art? Yes and no to different people.
Originally Posted by mattlock
I am not one for technically perfect pictures. At least if you want to be different, be very different. I am aware others like his stuff and that's pretty cool. Just not to some.
Like I mentioned, my niece could have been a millionairest too, given the chance and exposure. You too, if you open up your mental diaries.
24th June 2004, 11:38 PM
Take a closer look at Ralph Gibson's work. Technically outstanding, unique and stylish. Many may not like his work, but most would be able to pick out his work from the rubbish we see in abundance. That is being different. You won't see him explaining his art online, that's for sure.
In conclusion, if JC can do it, I don't see why anyone here not able to. That, is solely my personal opinion.
Last edited by Minoxman; 24th June 2004 at 11:41 PM.
25th June 2004, 12:02 AM
Originally Posted by mattlock
25th June 2004, 01:27 AM
perhaps john is right in saying that singapore is not ready for contemporary art. his works speak of his voice, his feelings towards the subjects. reading through this thread, it seems that the objective isn't about understanding the subjectivity of art but just criticism. the difference here is that he has made it while the rest of us are still talking here. won't that be more time wasting? be it art or street photography, i believe in professionism and professionism comes not with personal attack nor unconstructive criticism. it is indeed true that it is not what goes into the mouth that is harmful but what come out of it that can be.
i stand in agreement with my fellow singaporean photographer in New York City.
let's talk less and do more so that people will hear about the photography that is coming out of singapore.
the least we could do is to let them know that we are not located somewhere in China.
25th June 2004, 01:48 AM
Originally Posted by fleming
first of all, let me welcome you to clubsnap
To appreciate a piece of art, you definately have to understand it. But to fully appreciate it, you critize it. An artist must be able to 'defend' his visions and ideas.
Like JC said himself, art is a 2-way communication. He did some work, we gave some feedback.
Oh... one more thing which is bothering me.
NY is indeed the fashion hub of the world. It is the 'most happening' place on earth. BUT that doesn't mean places other than NY is 'backward'.
Why did I make such a comment?
I sense a few of the photographers have the mentality that whatever is accepted, loved or popularized in NY means it is accepted else where. If peeps in other places don't like it, it just means that are not 'contemporary' enuff or just not as creative or are just plain backwards.
I beg to differ. Yes, many interesting and creative idea do fly ard in NY. But what is accepted there only applies to that particular American culture.
For our instance, this is Singapore. If your stuffs didn't work here.... it didn't. It didn't work here not because this island is not contemporary enuff etc. But you overlooked the difference in the culture and social environment. Don't assume what works there will work here.
I think it is a good idea that we have fellow singaporeans to bring in fresh ideas from overseas. ANd I don't see why a few critisim is gonna bog any of you down.
Pardon me for being so loh soh....im a singaporean aftereall :P
25th June 2004, 01:58 AM
25th June 2004, 03:55 AM
hi, just in case I gave the wrong impression, the photographic work (fashion-wise) in New York is in fact very diverse and a lot of it is quite european in style even. There are some great magazines , New York is just a point of reference because it seems that many people end up here showcasing their work and there's alot of exposure to work from other countries too (french photo mag WAD is interesting conceptually (just look at the cover on the website page. take a few minutes to figure out what it's saying. took me a week reading the magazine before I actually noticed it), Flaunt is another good magazine to check out.
Originally Posted by meepokman
In fact there are many chinese artists showcasing their work in New York right now, while personally I am not too impressed by their work, I have to state that their ideas are much more progressive and daring than anything I've seen in Singapore. and I would say that China society is more "backwards" in a sense than Singapore (aren't we supposed to be all high tech and modern). so don't get the wrong impression, Singapore is contemporary but its artistic daring is still very stifled. The culture in New York is VERY different from Singapore of course, but there's a real passion for art and ideas and creativity here. I can personally tell you that my friends and I think that 95% of the work we see in the galleries is crap, but we still have to give them kudos for daring to pursue their vision.
And Minoxman, if you think it's so easy to pull off a concept why don't you try it? It's one thing to take one photo, it's another totally different story to create a body of work that carries a theme with meaning behind it through. Personally the pictures of the series on the family members with their faces erased out touched a nerve with me. Sure, anyone could do it, just photoshop lah! But would you have had the daring to go and do it? or would you have been caught up in your rules of photography and technical perfection? What were you looking for in the exhibition?
I know I'm being very biased here but the issue is bigger than just one exhibition, it's the whole idea of our arts scene, be it photography or theater or singers.
The difference is that even though many people in New York may think alot of the work they see is crap, they're willing to give it a chance. Here we have one of the few artists from our country actually making it big internationally and we can't be more supportive. Is it some sort of singaporean thing? Sun Yanzi had to go to Taiwan to make it big before our own countrymen could acknowledge her. An amazing writer from Singapore (I love his works and place them as highly as Haruki Murakami's works) wants to move to KL because his own country doesn't want to give him support and appreciation. Our own Government would rather spend $300 million building a white elephant of a beautiful building with a yearful $30million upkeep to attract international acts rather than passing that money along to our own country's artists.
Perhaps we could give our artists more benefit of a doubt and more support, instead of dismissing it straight away. If John Clang's work succeeded internationally perhaps there is some DEPTH to his work that we're not seeing. Perhaps we should have questioned the meaning of his work instead of dismissing it as amateurish straight away! How about that?
And Minoxman, since you think so highly of your niece maybe you go looking for the chance and exposure for her. You think chance and exposure comes along while you're sitting at home bitching?
25th June 2004, 07:53 AM
Matlock, go bitch in your own backyard ok? I was just expressing my own opinion on this issue, like yourself bitching above. Say what you want about JC and leave it at that.
For what it is wirth, his work is ORDINARY. SO what if he made it? Many ordinary people are millionares with a bit of luck.
25th June 2004, 08:24 AM
haha yes of course it's a good thing I don't bitch too often.
Whatever it is,I hope John Clang brings back more work to showcase back home
It'll definitely inspire some Singaporeans
25th June 2004, 08:35 AM
To most, JC made it commercially, big time!
his customers, the big names in fashion, advertising and brands, buy him.
To most, JC did not quite make it artistically.
his customers, the ordinary people, did not quite buy him.
If Picasso or Monet during their time were to quit practising art due to some critics, then we would not have come to appreciate their art.
True artists just go on....
so keep at it, JC, whether on the artistic or commercial platform..
The world will appreciate you for the art that you bring forth on either platform.
And let's open it to critique or compliments, isn't this what art is all about?
But at least keep away the personal gibes...... okay clubsnappers?
Last edited by snappist; 25th June 2004 at 08:44 AM.
25th June 2004, 08:48 AM
hi one last thing
it'll be good to take a look at his commercial work
some of it is astounding
Click on the drop down menu below on the page