For our participation to Photofairs this year we have decided to show the combined work of three
Western photographers, Andy Summers (UK), Brigitte Spiegeler(Netherlands), Dubravka Vidovic
(Croatia), who have staged their work in China, while travelling or actually living in the country. Each
captured with their own technique and medium in a calm and reflective manner, a contemplative
atmosphere whether their photographs were taken indoor or outdoor. They all aim at suggesting
metaphors and a personal interpretation for the culture they are in.
The camera first became guitarist Andy Summer's third eye as an exercise in watching when he began
taking pictures in the early days of the band Police. In China, he turned to following anonymous people
and watching them individually, in remote places deep in the province. As a musician Andy would
become fascinated by an 'Old men Band' he encountered in Yunnan, especially by the ancient string
instruments they were playing more folksy and rustic than the common traditional Chinese musical
instruments. His close-up observation or the old musicians faces, their strumming fingers is a poignant
demonstration of the power of photography to freeze on paper the time that passes.
In her work Brigitte Spiegeler uses a black and white picture captured with a pinhole camera and a
coloured pigment. Spiegeler’s works are about an imaginary time which only exists in our minds: in her
words “a time without a time, vague with some details popping up, the memory is now, right here, but at
the same time endlessly far away and intangible”. It seems as if the pigment was thrown onto the
picture plane only seconds ago and consequently from a contemporary context. The pigment, powdery
or fluid while the rest of the picture remains undisturbed is hiding part of the picture from view but never
to the point of missing the major visual elements, which are brought up in nuances and layers like in a
Coming from a coastal town, Dubravka Vidovic sees the water as a main feature in her inner landscape,
as an essential part of her memory for she has ‘sailed’ away from her native place nearly 20 years ago.
In her series “Waves” Dubravka worked with vintage photographs of Chinese junk boats - taken in
Shanghai on the Huangpu River or the Suzhou Creek. Printed on silk then mounted on paper like
traditional Chinese scrolls, the folded part creates a series of waves which bring motion to the picture,
putting a new life into it. Each image is an invitation to reviving old stories of travelers sailing to foreign
shores and the reverie of a long journey at sea.