1 AUGUST - 12 SEPTEMBER 2020
1 AUGUST, 4:30 p.m.
TKG+ 3F, No.15, Ln. 548, Ruiguang Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei 114, Taiwan
TKG+ is pleased to present the solo exhibition Flux of Shadows by internationally renowned fashion photographer Joshua Lin. The exhibition takes place at the gallery space in Neihu from August 1 to September 12, 2020. It is the first public showcase of Lin’s series of black-and-white nude photography. This series seamlessly blends the language of abstraction with an ink art aesthetics. Lin combines the precision of Western photography with the visual style belonging only to ink art, contributing to a unique poetics. Lin’s practice transcends portrait photography into an interplay of light and shadows which is reminiscent of splashed ink landscape painting. The exhibition presents a rare opportunity to examine Lin’s oeuvre outside his more widely known commercial practice of landscape, portraiture, and fashion photography.
Largely defined by his commercial success, Lin’s signature aesthetics — rigorous and elegant — is seen across a diverse range of mediums, from magazines, advertisements, to music videos. He masters the delicate craft of balancing the dynamics between movement and space. Lauded for his brilliance in capturing the essence of his subject matter, Lin often seals the authentic characteristics and vibrant spirit of his subject in the frame with his telling observations, foregrounding him as one of the towering fashion photographers and music video directors in Asia.
Flux of Shadows serves as a window into the unedited and uncompromised artistic voice behind Lin’s commercial success. The exhibition allows Lin to return to his role as an artist, and presents his creative journey with a complete autonomy. His new series of black-and-white photography seeks inspiration from traditional ink art. The afterimages of the dancer’s movements are transformed into a tango between the camera and the nude. The dancer’s physicality and motion drag across the frame to evoke a classical splashed ink painting.
As if an ink maestro, Lin paints with his camera to produce a semblance of brushstrokes for his photographic works. The spacing and emptiness is well-paced with nuanced exposure to light. The compositional harmony renders the physicality of the nudes beyond sensuality. Through the stroboscopic flash, Lin captures the model’s movements and constructs an image seemingly rendered with the feibai technique in classical ink painting in an effort to document the passage of time. Feibai, or “flying white,” is a traditional technique in calligraphy and ink painting, frequently employed to create textures with half-dry brushstrokes by dragging or restraining the paintbrush from producing an ink trail. The technique often elicits a sense of speed in flight from a deliberate production of emptiness, achieved by leaving parts of the canvas unpainted and white, thus the name “flying white.” In Lin’s application, the vigorous effects of feibai achieved through light and shadows recall a sense of action, and transport the viewer to the moment of production in Lin’s studio.
To sum up his creative practice, Lin remarks: “The camera is a paintbrush and the picture completes imagination. The image is a photograph whereas the photograph also becomes a painting. The final stage of completion can only be achieved through the eyes and the mind of the viewer.” The demarcations between schools of practices, historical movements, and artistic disciplines lose their boundaries in Lin’s work, where the East and the West coalesce, the traditional and the modern interact, photography and painting coexist. Lin has shaped a world that radiates with Asian aesthetics through a click of the shutter. Underpinned by his personalized philosophy of “splashed ink of light and shadows,” the passage of time and the richness of imagination are translated into a memorable play of iconography.