Bangsar view

January 10, 2011

View from Bangsar station in KL, taken with my Agfa Isolette 6×6. I liked the train system in Kuala Lumpur; it was efficient and there were often interesting outlooks.


spa row images for blog

One of my art projects is being exhibited in Sydney until Sunday 24th May. The show consists of 44 portrait drawings of myself that I had made by street artists in 7 cities in 6 countries; Sydney, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

While observing two street portrait artists at work in Paris in September 2000 I had the idea that it might be interesting to have multiple realistic portraits made of myself in different parts of the world. My thought was that comparing the final results could reveal some of the complexity of what happens in a portrait.

From it’s beginning a portrait embodies uncertainty. The artist observes the sitter and then moves their eye to the paper and makes their mark using a combination of memory and technique. There are further  complications when a third party viewer looks at the finished work, as we experience portraits in a different way than we do landscape or still life. We see the portrait as a work of art but also as a person and will assess the face in the picture in the same way that we do when facing someone. There is the illusion that we are looking at them solely with our own subjectivity when in fact we are also looking through the eyes and memory of the artist who made the portrait.

The work is at the exhibition gallery inside the Sydney Antique Centre, 531 South Dowling St, Surry Hills. Open 7 days from 10-6.

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KL Pawagam Coliseum

December 1, 2008


July ’08   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia    Nikon 28ti   Agfa Precisa 100

This old cinema was on jalan Abdul Rahman where most of the street is Indian businesses. I didn’t know it was such an interesting street, it was near my hotel & I just wandered down there one evening. It ends up at Masjid Jamek. There were some enormous silk & sari shops along here, some were 3 levels of window displays above the street. There is a Saturday night market on the street parallel to this & also an area with lots of Indian restaurants. It’s a great street, unfortunately I only discovered it one of my last nights in KL. This cinema shows Indian movies & also has a cafe next door. Like some other businesses in this street it looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 1940s, which is a good thing. That was something I saw a lot & liked in KL – parts of the city are ultra modern while areas nearby are like this. Camera was Nikon 28ti with Agfa Precisa 100, rated at 200. It was cross processed in C41 chemistry & pushed one stop. If I did it again I would only push a half stop in the dev as the highlights tend to block up.

Green Dress KL

November 19, 2008


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   July ’08   Agfa Isolette   Kodak Portra 400 VC

This was near Masjid Jamek in the centre of KL. The film has a lot of humidity damage – small chunks of emulsion have come loose. You probably can’t see it on the small screen version. This was my first time to South East Asia & I had no idea how humid it was & what it could do to film. I was carrying my 120 film out of the sealed packs they are sold in & also spent two weeks in Hanoi where the humidity was extreme. In Hanoi I lost a few rolls of 35mm where the emulsion practically melted.

The Agfa Isolette is a medium format folding camera from approx the 1950s. It shoots a square 6×6 frame so there are 12 exposures on a roll of 120. There is no rangefinder so it is focus by estimate in meters. The viewfinder is above the lens & the framing is slightly inaccurate. Have to frame & then raise the camera slightly so the lens will cover what you saw in the viewfinder. For some reason I kept framing everything crooked, probably just need some more practice.

The camera is in excellent condition. It was given to me by a very kind man in the USA who had just done a CLA (clean, lubricate, adjust) on it. In fact he did this with about a dozen of these cameras & then gave them away via the APUG forum.