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Thread: Clang. A Self Portrait

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minoxman
    Larry, I think you should just punish people who started calling others "trolls and jerks" etc instead of stopping a legitimate healthy discussion about how we perceive art.
    Is locking a thread helping anything?
    Just thinking aloud.
    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock
    to the moderators, I think even though we may end up getting heated and call people a name or two, I think locking a thread based on that is just unhealthy for a forum. We are reasonable adults, we have our views, we will find a way to agree to disagree. Let us find our way.
    To both Minoxman & mattlock, I agree that a healthy platform for honest discussion inevitably brings up some heated issues and strong emotional reactions, but my role is to moderate and make sure the discussion stays reasonably objective and coherent. Do note that I posted a warning to avoid name-calling, and I didn't actually lock the thread (obviously, otherwise there wouldn't be subsequent threads).

    It's merely a firm reminder to tone down the heated responses.By all means, keep the debate going, but bear in mind there are others sharing this forum and we should keep everything civil for all.

    The Moderator
    ClubSNAP.org

  2. #82

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    This is really interesting and I applaud the moderators' decision to just warn and not lock the thread coz I also think there is some healthy discussion going on minus the name-calling part. And isn't forum made for discussions?

    Anyway, I had also seen some of JC commercial works. I want to know did he come out of the concept himself? Or is it by some advertising agency? If JC comes out with the concept, then I think he is good in that aspect. Some of the concepts are astounding.......note here, I mean the concept and idea not the photography. So, maybe JC is indeed a great artist afterall.

    For photography, I am not good enough to comment but I think he is an ok photographer who can take great technically correct photos as well if he wants. Just that maybe sometimes when we are too engrossed over pursuing equipments, lens and technical requirement, we sometimes would like to return back to mother nature to just do something simple. Just use a P & S camera and take photos. And maybe that is what he wants to show in his exhibition.

    And what about those great artist who just draw a circle on a white paper and sell it for tonnes of money? You call that art or trash? It's subjective isn't it? And I agree that sometimes perception comes with the brand name. If you are famous, you draw anything also is art. Like "The Emperor's New Clothes". So, maybe those who disagree with JC photos are those who behave like the small boy who regardless of the perception, just say what they see. Note, I say MAYBE. So, please dun bomb me.


  3. #83

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    woot........
    if my camera is there at the right moment, click, all I have to do is accept it.
    -edouard boubat

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by icer
    And what about those great artist who just draw a circle on a white paper and sell it for tonnes of money? You call that art or trash? It's subjective isn't it? And I agree that sometimes perception comes with the brand name. If you are famous, you draw anything also is art. Like "The Emperor's New Clothes". So, maybe those who disagree with JC photos are those who behave like the small boy who regardless of the perception, just say what they see. Note, I say MAYBE. So, please dun bomb me.

    hmmm. I dunno about that. I don't think very highly of childrens' ability to perceive things. that's why they end up eating frosted cereals and watching stupid things like Pokemon and Teletubbies. show them something entertaining and colourful and they'll like it. grin.

    I think that if you try not to think about art in the context of $$$ you'll be able to appreciate it better. there are some great and very well respected artists who don't get big bucks selling their stuff... but anyway the people who buy art are usually big companies and pretty darn rich people.
    Of course there are people who just use their name to pass of anything as art, but I'd like to keep my idealistic belief that many artists are truly dedicated and mean to say something through their work, rather than just fool people. As you know there are VERY few artists who actually end up making alot of money. so there must be something that drives these artists to create things rather than just money

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock
    hmmm. I dunno about that. I don't think very highly of childrens' ability to perceive things. that's why they end up eating frosted cereals and watching stupid things like Pokemon and Teletubbies. show them something entertaining and colourful and they'll like it. grin.

    I think that if you try not to think about art in the context of $$$ you'll be able to appreciate it better. there are some great and very well respected artists who don't get big bucks selling their stuff... but anyway the people who buy art are usually big companies and pretty darn rich people.
    Of course there are people who just use their name to pass of anything as art, but I'd like to keep my idealistic belief that many artists are truly dedicated and mean to say something through their work, rather than just fool people. As you know there are VERY few artists who actually end up making alot of money. so there must be something that drives these artists to create things rather than just money
    I know what you mean. That is very idealistic but admirable. All artists in any aspects should possess your kind of spirit.

    But sometimes when you see those really abstract art with just a stroke or a circle or some paint splattered over the white paper......you just can't help but wonder? Can't I or my 5 year old niece do that?

    I guess thats why some people raise their views on JC photos? It's that kind of mentality. So long as we stick to there's no right or wrong. All discussions are supposed to widen our individual perspective and horizon and its good to keep them going.

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by icer
    I know what you mean. That is very idealistic but admirable. All artists in any aspects should possess your kind of spirit.

    But sometimes when you see those really abstract art with just a stroke or a circle or some paint splattered over the white paper......you just can't help but wonder? Can't I or my 5 year old niece do that?

    I guess thats why some people raise their views on JC photos? It's that kind of mentality. So long as we stick to there's no right or wrong. All discussions are supposed to widen our individual perspective and horizon and its good to keep them going.
    yup I get what you mean. I just went for an exhibition yestreday where the person put up a giant canvas divided into two. one half black paint one half white paint, and frankly I didn't see anything to hoot about it.

    sometimes it's hard to understand the impact of a certain piece because alot of artwork is shown in retrospect. there was this russian artist who put a white square on a white canvas. and a white cross on a black canvas. now looking at it it's hard to see why anyone would call that art. but when it as shown (early 20th century) people were still caught up in representing objects like flowers and still lifes and portraits. This guy came up and did something totally different that questioned the boundaries of art. Now when we see it it seems normal because it's become commonplace, we see a minimalistic magazine cover with alot of white space and we're ok with it cause now we're used to it. Do something like that back then and you'd cause an uproar. Or something like MTV, it's easy to appreciate fast cut scenes in videos, but this sort of thing was thanks in part to avant garde film makers testing boundaries too in an era where movies were long and linear.

    I guess when you walk into an art gallery you expect to see "art", but perhaps our ideas of art are vastly different from an artist's idea of art and perhaps we have osmething to learn if we keep our minds open

    I do believe that many of us can do the so called art that doesn't seem like art, and so can a child, those seemingly pathetically easy things like a circle on a piece of paper. But perhaps sometimes it is necessary to understand why the person drew a circle on a piece of paper instead of an elaborate painting that could have shown off his technical skills. Is his reasoning sound? Does it make us question anything or see something in a different way?
    This artist named Marcel Duchamp presented a toilet urinal as a piece of art. Why was it considered so important? and why was it art? There is more to a piece of art than the superficial physical nature of it, but it's not so easy nowadays to understand it, we have to take the effort to interact with the piece. It's not as easy as looking at a piece and if you don't feel anything it means that the piece has failed. Personally I don't find it easy but it's very rewarding when you come across artwork that makes you think anew.

    I think as photographers we must go beyond just taking pretty photos. Think of it this way, our beautiful photographs of sunsets and bugs and flowers and landscapes are about prettiness, which is very similar to those pretty landscapes and still lifes of fruits painted by artists in the past. Or those chinese paintings of koi. Is there anything that we're doing that hasn't already been done to death? Is there something deeper to what we're doing than just capturing a documentary picture that anyone could have taken? Do we have anything to say through our work?

  7. #87
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    yah marcel duchamp's one example. Another good example would be Kasimir Malevich's Suprematism works. To those who see it for the first time, it'll probably seem to them as the ultimate in crap...but once u really understand his works, u'll soon realize it's the ultimate in 'thinking art' and y he took so many years juz to come up with them.

  8. #88

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    Fact still is, if you mix JC's exhibited work with some of the pictures in this forum or elsewhere, you would never be able to tell which is whose if your life depended on it.
    Look at the exhibition objectively, go down if you haven't. If JC isn't already who he is, that exhibition wouldn't even be up.

    France was a soccer power, still is, but against Greece this morning, they sucked. Likewise for Jc's present exhibition compared to his otherwise passable commercial work.

    Objectivity and the power to discern is lacking in our local critique circle I suspect. thus, you see the wolf pack shifting towards the spotlight every single time.

    Time to wake up.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock
    yup I get what you mean. I just went for an exhibition yestreday where the person put up a giant canvas divided into two. one half black paint one half white paint, and frankly I didn't see anything to hoot about it.

    sometimes it's hard to understand the impact of a certain piece because alot of artwork is shown in retrospect. there was this russian artist who put a white square on a white canvas. and a white cross on a black canvas. now looking at it it's hard to see why anyone would call that art. but when it as shown (early 20th century) people were still caught up in representing objects like flowers and still lifes and portraits. This guy came up and did something totally different that questioned the boundaries of art. Now when we see it it seems normal because it's become commonplace, we see a minimalistic magazine cover with alot of white space and we're ok with it cause now we're used to it. Do something like that back then and you'd cause an uproar. Or something like MTV, it's easy to appreciate fast cut scenes in videos, but this sort of thing was thanks in part to avant garde film makers testing boundaries too in an era where movies were long and linear.

    I guess when you walk into an art gallery you expect to see "art", but perhaps our ideas of art are vastly different from an artist's idea of art and perhaps we have osmething to learn if we keep our minds open

    I do believe that many of us can do the so called art that doesn't seem like art, and so can a child, those seemingly pathetically easy things like a circle on a piece of paper. But perhaps sometimes it is necessary to understand why the person drew a circle on a piece of paper instead of an elaborate painting that could have shown off his technical skills. Is his reasoning sound? Does it make us question anything or see something in a different way?
    This artist named Marcel Duchamp presented a toilet urinal as a piece of art. Why was it considered so important? and why was it art? There is more to a piece of art than the superficial physical nature of it, but it's not so easy nowadays to understand it, we have to take the effort to interact with the piece. It's not as easy as looking at a piece and if you don't feel anything it means that the piece has failed. Personally I don't find it easy but it's very rewarding when you come across artwork that makes you think anew.

    I think as photographers we must go beyond just taking pretty photos. Think of it this way, our beautiful photographs of sunsets and bugs and flowers and landscapes are about prettiness, which is very similar to those pretty landscapes and still lifes of fruits painted by artists in the past. Or those chinese paintings of koi. Is there anything that we're doing that hasn't already been done to death? Is there something deeper to what we're doing than just capturing a documentary picture that anyone could have taken? Do we have anything to say through our work?
    Marcel Duchamp pulled lots of stunts too! cross dresser, chess art, lots of whacky ideas. He was advant grade for his time, maybe someone can take lead to his spirit and bring a new master in the arts scene! Maybe JC pulled a Duchamp on all of us. I won't be surprise.

    at the end the whole drama is you really have to be true to yourself, in whatever you do, dun need to answer to anyone expect yourself.
    Last edited by Belle&Sebastain; 28th June 2004 at 02:20 AM.

  10. #90

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    I guess if Picasso drew a circle with a central black dot on it now, it'll still sell in $millions too.
    So can my niece. So can you. But we can't, because we are not Picassos.

  11. #91

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    Old, old argument. Cows still haven't come home. Mooo.

    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=2209

    The art piece in question is here:

    http://www.dry-wet.com/k-03-14.htm

  12. #92

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    You mean like people paying $2k for the D70 and yet ask how to use a flash on it?

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minoxman
    You mean like people paying $2k for the D70 and yet ask how to use a flash on it?
    Hehe....good one there!

  14. #94

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    I really don't quite understand focus of this thread.

    My personal take on JC's work : I think he's honest about his feelings.

    JC's current exhibition is more "feelings" than "technical supermacy". I'm responsive to "emotive" and "feeling" photos/paintings/artworks than "technically excellent" photos/paintings/artworks.

    His explanation on "NYC Ghost" made me think about my feelings when the 9-11 disaster struck.

    I was just sitting in my camp's office and watching the news on a tv one of my officers brought down from his bunk. The whole group of us ten (poor NSFs - men and officers) were just that - glued to the screen (during a normal work day). We felt scared and depressed.

    6 hours later. My unit was on red alert.

    See? JC is successful in my opinion. He made me think and reflect.

    Anyway, enough of rambling.

    Show me a superb technical photo and an horribly taken "emotional" photo - I will tend to remember the "emotional" one.

    Technically excellent photos are dime a dozen. But have you (i guess in a general way) come up with something that can really communicate with an audience? If your artwork can communicate with someone else, I say that you are successful.

    My 2 cents.

  15. #95

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    Thanks John.

    I can related to the series of photos on parents. I used to live & work in nyc for 2 years. Not much friends there...just my wife & I. Missing our parents is one of the main reason why we come back to singapore. Yet when we are back here we got so busy & did not spend quality time with them. Your photos reminds me of how much I miss my parents while in nyc & that I should spend more time with them. They may be here today...but may not be tomorrow.

    Great work..apreciate that.
    Michael Chan

  16. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minoxman
    He needed to explain his work because his work couldn't please some of us. If everyone was bowing high and low in this thread, I doubt he would have grace the stage to type.
    That's just pure sour grapes! When John Clang does work commercial, he's not owing the public an explanation as to why he shot it like that, similarly, it's art we're talking about. Whatever the artist perceives, he does what he thinks is... Therefore, given such an opportunity to host an exhibition in Singapore, I would think it's an eye opener, for at least in the tens of thousands photographer in New York. He has created a chance for Singaporeans wanting to venture there in the near future... & importantly the word Singaporean wouldn't sound vauge to the foreigners.

    Sorry Minoxman, I think it just needs another like you to bring Singapore back to the 3rd world country's era.

    Considering migrating to these countries, it'll probably help you in the long run...

  17. #97

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    I agree with streetshooter, his commercial work and the webbie which has his personal work like "hands" is really very good. sadly his singapore exhibits and the earlier webbies in this thread don't give as good an impression. I think its great that JC himself bothered to give an explanation here, I wouldn't have bothered myself. This act in itself is worthy of respect, it shows for whatever fame and fortune JC has gotten it still isn't beneath him to try and explain on a small forum far away from NYC. And he was appreciative of critism as well (so he says).

    however I agree with some other comments here, i feel there's a difference in appreciating an artist's views vs his works. the interpretation, the experiences that lead to a work is always intriguing and worthy of respect, regardless of whom it comes from. no matter what form the work takes, whether its great or not, the feelings, the effort that went into making it shold be recognised. As photographers ourselves, I"m sure we are familiar with the effort to bring out what we feel inside thru images.

    When JC explained. I think that's what makes the difference. you can see where's he's coming from, how he translated it to images he eventually took. its his personal vision. I don't care how rich and famous he is, I still appreciate his personal efforts, experiences.

    now we come to the artist's works. therein lies the difference. there are good works, and there are bad works. EVERYONE has a bit of both. its not an insult, it just is. works that don't illict thought but create confusion and impatience. works that don't capture attention. problem is, we tend to get emotionally attached to our works and don't see or don't wish to see that the works aren't good. We feel that its a personal thing, a way of self expression so we get artistic licence. but if that is so, then any absolutely ugly horrendous work would be justifiable.

    JC was appreciative of critism but I was disturbed when he equated the critisms with a lack of ability to embrace "contemporary photography". that's bullshit. and I think its damn insulting to singaporeans. if his pics can't reach out to the general public then hey, they are not effective and aren't good. that's nothing to do with not being ready to appreciate contemporary photography whatever that BS is. JC has some other really excellent personal stuff on his webbie like "hands" "singapore girls" that really wowed me. These are GREAT works. if he showed these, I think he'll get a very different reception. instead the honest bare truth is that he chose a not as strong selection to showcase.

  18. #98

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    Yah I thought "Hands" was pretty good, too.

  19. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by pointblankshots
    That's just pure sour grapes! When John Clang does work commercial, he's not owing the public an explanation as to why he shot it like that, similarly, it's art we're talking about. Whatever the artist perceives, he does what he thinks is... Therefore, given such an opportunity to host an exhibition in Singapore, I would think it's an eye opener, for at least in the tens of thousands photographer in New York. He has created a chance for Singaporeans wanting to venture there in the near future... & importantly the word Singaporean wouldn't sound vauge to the foreigners.

    Sorry Minoxman, I think it just needs another like you to bring Singapore back to the 3rd world country's era.

    Considering migrating to these countries, it'll probably help you in the long run...
    What's so great about venturing abroad? Singapore not good enough for you? Sour grapes over an exhibition that basically sucked? I think more people need to move out of SIngapore and suck it up elsewhere.
    There is a difference between saying JC is crap and saying his exhibited work recently crap. I said his exhibited works are crap. Not JC.
    Time to migrate bigshot.

  20. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoppinghippo
    I agree with streetshooter, his commercial work and the webbie which has his personal work like "hands" is really very good. sadly his singapore exhibits and the earlier webbies in this thread don't give as good an impression. I think its great that JC himself bothered to give an explanation here, I wouldn't have bothered myself. This act in itself is worthy of respect, it shows for whatever fame and fortune JC has gotten it still isn't beneath him to try and explain on a small forum far away from NYC. And he was appreciative of critism as well (so he says).

    however I agree with some other comments here, i feel there's a difference in appreciating an artist's views vs his works. the interpretation, the experiences that lead to a work is always intriguing and worthy of respect, regardless of whom it comes from. no matter what form the work takes, whether its great or not, the feelings, the effort that went into making it shold be recognised. As photographers ourselves, I"m sure we are familiar with the effort to bring out what we feel inside thru images.

    When JC explained. I think that's what makes the difference. you can see where's he's coming from, how he translated it to images he eventually took. its his personal vision. I don't care how rich and famous he is, I still appreciate his personal efforts, experiences.

    now we come to the artist's works. therein lies the difference. there are good works, and there are bad works. EVERYONE has a bit of both. its not an insult, it just is. works that don't illict thought but create confusion and impatience. works that don't capture attention. problem is, we tend to get emotionally attached to our works and don't see or don't wish to see that the works aren't good. We feel that its a personal thing, a way of self expression so we get artistic licence. but if that is so, then any absolutely ugly horrendous work would be justifiable.

    JC was appreciative of critism but I was disturbed when he equated the critisms with a lack of ability to embrace "contemporary photography". that's bullshit. and I think its damn insulting to singaporeans. if his pics can't reach out to the general public then hey, they are not effective and aren't good. that's nothing to do with not being ready to appreciate contemporary photography whatever that BS is. JC has some other really excellent personal stuff on his webbie like "hands" "singapore girls" that really wowed me. These are GREAT works. if he showed these, I think he'll get a very different reception. instead the honest bare truth is that he chose a not as strong selection to showcase.
    What really disturbed me was when he said commoners like to hate him because he has made it big. Talk about ego and mother of all Fups(assumptions).

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