Friday, 26 August 2011

Dark Light: Abbas & Melisa Teo

I'm glad I stumbled on Dark Light, a joint exhibition by Abbas (Magnum) and Melisa Teo, who traveled for 3 years documenting the spiritual traditions of Buddhism, Shamanism and Hinduism.

It's an interesting contrast of styles: the black & white photojournalistic photographs of Abbas and Melisa's more abstract, color-filled and blurry images. The contrast between the sharp black & white imagery by Abbas and the colorful intentional (or not) photographs by Melisa shows that there is ample room for either and both disciplines and styles.

I liked Abbas' relaxed conversational narration, probably honed through years of public speaking, while Melisa's is somewhat stilted and strained. Photographers usually make awful narrators...but Abbas did his very well.

The exhibition is held in Singapore from September 1 to 23rd, 2011. Further details are available here.

A few days ago, I expressed my POV that travel photographers could learn from fashion photographers, and that having such a two-way exchange of ideas, concepts and techniques is a good thing for both types of photography. It's the same for the styles espoused by Abbas and Melisa.

In a part of the narration, Abbas tells us that he would photograph a wide angle documentary image of the Ganges, while Melisa would choose a small flower floating on it...the whole versus the part. Similarly, on some of my photo workshops, I had the experience when shooting alongside photographers who have a fashion or interior design background...they see less in documentary style and more in abstract terms....or the whole versus the part.