A photograph can be like a poem. For just as a poem might bring together the elements of word and time in a metered line of verse, so a photograph particularly a black and white photograph combines two great elements, one occurring in nature, the other distinctly human: light and time.
In black and white photography, these two combine with a third element, drawn from the earth: silver. Light, time, and the silver of the earth thus come together in both the eye of the photographer, who takes the photograph, and in the eyes of the beholder, who sees the image. Just as poet and reader conjoin in the reading of the poem, so in the exhibition of the photograph, photographer and viewer conjoin in a shared moment of meditation on the visible. A meditation in time, literally bathed in light.
The images in this exhibition (Kathmandu Gallery, Bangkok, 2006) are signatures, traces, of this elemental intersection of light, time, and chemistry. Their purpose, as photographs, is, therefore, neither to document nor to conceptualize, but rather to be moments of vision, moments of meditation on the visible; they are presentations of the visible; they show -- one could say that they commemorate -- what was there, given to be seen in an ephemeral, luminous moment of time.
They are the signatures of the luminosity of existence; traces left across the surfaces of film of a transience that would have otherwise gone by unrecalled, vanished without a trace. Some of these photographs seek to take this poetry of light to the very threshold of the visible, to a point, a vanishing point, a horizon of light and time.
These seascapes are such images, photographs of nothing, images without objects, images of vast distances where sea and sky meet at an obscure and ambiguous horizon. This horizon, traced in these photographs, is where the eye and mind can find their redoubt of calm and solace in a world that increasingly demands their restlessness. Other images attempt to communicate the staggering proportion of the human world in the midst of this immensity of sea and light.
There are, of course, precedents for this effort. One can see the inspirations of Chinese landscape paintings, or of Monets impressionist paintings of the sea and of his beloved lily pond; Sugimotos black and white seascapes must also be mentioned. But in the singularity of each encounter of light and time and the elements, there is an almost uncountable uniqueness that has no precedents.
This is the moment of the muse of light, the moment the breaking, Orpheus song of luminosity rises only to die away and fall again into the night waiting at the end of the day.