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Transnational Art: Day 1

I won't promise a daily update, but here's one for the first day. Remember, you only have until Sunday 3pm to see the show at the Enokojima Arts Center. Thank you to the Craft Beer Base staff and some Kinki hasher from coming out to see the exhibition today.
Celio's opening speech.
With Yoshihisa Sano, LED + plastic bottle installation 
Micha Therrien,  painter & fellow Québécois

Newspaper sculpture by Tsutomu Yasuda

Chiaki Fujihara, miniature paper butterfly installation

Chapa (painter) checking Ash Ryan's video

Photographers Micah Gampel & Kumiko Wakabayashi


Transnational Art 2013

From Tuesday 1/29 to Sunday 2/3 SoHo Gallery is putting together the annual Transnational Art exhibition, gathering artists of all horizons under one roof. Sculptures, videos, painting, and of course photography are displayed, with the commonality being that, in the words of curator Celio Baretto, all artists "work their butts off"!

I'm presenting the latest iteration of my photo manga Black Swan. I bit a little more than I could chew with the insertion of my work in an actual manga, but the result is satisfying. Installation was a breeze for me, so I helped a number of other artists with their own mounting. It was the case with PR-y collaborator Rob Walbers and French photographer Luigi Clavareau, with whom I had good discussions.

Come on by to the exhibition. It is held at the Enokojima Arts, Culture and Creative Center, a 3-minute walk west of exit 8 of Awaza station in downtown Osaka. I plan to be there every week day from 11am to about 2pm, and from about 1:30 on Saturday. See you there!



Yesterday I had a photo shoot with Maek & Junko, and lovely expecting couple. The shoot went well, although I have yet to look at the pictures: I think it could be a good thing since it'll give me time to cool off and see them more objectively.

I doubt I'll have much more time this week since I need to finish my photoshop work with the pictures of Black Swan Naomi and Marlon, which I need to ready for Transnational Art 2013 starting in, yikes, two weeks. As my mom used to say, "If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done in this world".

It didn't stop me from stealing an hour after today's rain to test some angles and stuff for a picture I've been thinking about for some time. The weather didn't produce the light I was hoping, but along with my ND400 filter, I could still obtain something decent. Enjoy!


Great Way To Start Off The Year

Happy New Year, everyone. I wish you all the best in 2013, especially I hope you'll have many fantastic surprises.

Mine started this way actually. A few days after Jan. 1st I received an email regarding a picture I had posted over 3 years ago on the BBC. A man was inquiring if I had posted a picture back in 2009, and since he gave no other information about the pic, I was little suspicious he might be a phisher or something (having had several pics posted there, his question was a little vague). After exchanging a few emails, I realized it wasn't the case, and he told me that my picture had a big impact on his life. With his permission, here is his story:

Dear Jean-Yves,  
First and foremost, I want to thank you for that photo. To say it has had a profound effect on my life is not an exaggeration.
Back in 2009, when I first saw the photo, my life was not going well. Despite years of working in the arts ( I studied acting in New York City) I had come to an impasse and lost all direction. Physically and psychologically I was feeling in pretty bad shape.  
The perfect beauty of your image struck me, and I saved it as wall paper on my computer for months. I have to admit, it gave me great peace.
Before studying acting, I had briefly studied Fine Art History and did one studio course, but had pretty much let that part of me go. It occurred to me that if I were to commit myself to painting a canvas again ( it had been at least 16 years since I had picked up a paint brush to work on a canvas) then at least I could feel "some" sense of control over my creativity and art. The image you captured inspired me to start again.
I purchased a canvas with the intention of reproducing the image and have to admit that even that hung on my wall, blank, for a long time. Then one day, I began to paint. 
I figured if I could just do one a leaf a day I might stay on course in my life. It didn't work out that way. Sometimes I would paint a leaf and then let it sit for days, other times I would work for days at a time and complete large sections. 
Finally, something happened that I did not expect. The painting flowed and I fell right into a passion that I had completely forgotten about and, in fact, did not know I had.
All this to say Jean-Yves, that because of your eye and standing on your tip toes to catch that plant, at that moment, you have indirectly brought to life a dormant talent in another person that otherwise probably would not have been expressed.
I completed the painting last week. It took over a year to do. It is a fairly large painting (6 ft x 4 ft) and was done in oil.
I am not sure what is next for it. I have never sold a painting in my life. I've never ever attempted to, but what matters is that I plan on continuing my passion for painting canvases. 
I wanted to track you down, as I said, to thank you, and let you know.
As well, I want you to know that I fully intend to give you credit for the original image should it come up, and would like your permission to do so.
As I said, I've never had a show, or sold a painting in my life. As it is now, I mostly scratch out an income painting houses here in Xyz Canada but now, at least, the wheels have begun to turn for me in a new direction.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope you like it.

The funny thing is, as a photographer, I hope to inspire people and sometimes reveal things about myself. Posting pictures on the BBC, I wished to gain some recognition, it was a purely selfish act. Yet, it ended up really helping someone else, in a totally unexpected way. I have my Black Swan series on unexpected occurrences, I don't know if this qualifies as a grey or black one, but it is definitely a no-white swan. If I go to Xyz in the future, I will certainly ask him to model for me.

Well, here is the man and his painting. I hope it inspires you to create/explore/play in a way you have either forgotten or only dreamed about before.