On Wednesday when in London for my intern interview I took time out to visit this exhibition at the Barbican. Showcasing the beautiful and bizarre world of Japanese fashion with collections from designers such as; Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto and was curated by Japanese Akiko Fukai, Director of the Kyoto Costume Institute. Most inspiring exhibition I have been to all year.
Went to a talk to the Nadav Kander talk at Grande Parade held by photoworks. He began by discussing the work he did for the New York Times titled ‘Obama’s People’ (2008) in which he was invited to do portraits of all of Obama’s incoming administration.
Pictured above is the image of the youngest member of the team; Eugene Kang who will be Special Assistant to the President. He was photographed with his little black book becuase this was filled with the numbers he had to call to contact people for the president. He wanted the images to be timelesss so to not date, he told each person to bring along something that they liked or best represented them. I found it interesting how when photographing Hilary Clinton she was very aware of the camera and would not have her photograph taken without her smiling, the image he caught of her is an inbetween smile, an almost happiness to show how feelings for her position under Obama.
He then went on to discuss his latest work; Yangtze- The Long River. I really liked the images he produced by travelling to China over 5 trips each 2 and half weeks long. He did separate trips because he thought that after too long in your surroundings your becoming used to it and no longer take notice. I agree with this idea, because when I have been travelling myself I found the images I took at the beginning of being in a new surrounding are a lot better quality in terms of interest and difference to the western world. My favourite is the image of the two ghostly bridges with the sense of foreground and background and the quote Navav Kander got from the local ‘Why destroy to develop’.
I was a little disspointed that he did not discuss any of his fashion photography or commercial work but was overall impressed with his approach to his work in the way that he does not always have a concept behind it before shooting, but usually discovers what it is after he has shot the work through feedback. I saw similarites with his practise to the way I work so I found it very motivating.