I had a fab time at the Camerimage festival in Bydgoscz, Poland this week topped off by meeting Vittorio Storaro last night.
Camerimage is the international festival of the art of cinematography and Vittorio is widely regarded as the world's most accomplished cinematographer. He is a long time hero of mine and his films include The Conformist, Apocalypse Now and The Last Emperor.
Vittorio spent the last five years photographing Mohammad: Messenger of God directed by Majid Majidi- coming to our screens soon.
What a privelige to listen to Vittorio eloquently discussing his creative process - his sophisticated theories of light and colour and how he seamlessly integrates spiritually and art to produce breathtaking moving images.
Another highlight of the week was Ryszard Lenczewski discussing how his still-image photographic work during the preproduction of My Summer of Love enabled him to evolve such captivating moving-images. What a privelege to spend time with so many talented artists e.g. Chris Menges (The Killing Fields), Slawomir Idziak (The Double Life of Veronique) and Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love) - all generously sharing their creativity. And the party tricks weren't bad either.
Sadly I missed my private view at Portrait Salon on Thursday - but luckily Kaori was able to be there.
Four Darshana Photo Art pictures by Gerry McCulloch are featured in the London Independent Photography Exhibition at Embassy Tea Gallery, London Bridge. Entry is free and the exhibition runs until 1st November, 10am - 7pm daily.
A Darshana Photo Art picture by Gerry McCulloch has been selected for Portrait Salon, an exhibition to be held at Embassy Tea Gallery in London Bridge in November. This same picture is part of a selection of four pictures by Gerry McCulloch that are currently on show at the London Independent Photography exhibition, also at Embassy Tea Gallery.
Portrait Salon runs from 19th to 22nd November and admission is free. The exhibition then travels to Tokyo where it will be showing at the Reminders Photography Stronghold Gallery.
I'm having Deja Vu . . . This Darshana Photo Art picture by Gerry McCulloch made it into the final shortlist for the prestigious Taylor-Wessing Portrait exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, but alas did not make it into the exhibition. Fromf around 2,200 entries, it made it into the final 150, with 60 pictures being selected for the exhibition. Never mind, its part of a selection of four pictures by Gerry McCulloch currently showing in the London Independent Photography exhibition.
Bizarrely the same thing happened to me last year with the above picture.
It feels a bit like Albion Rovers making it into the semi finals of the Scottish Cup two years running and going out in the penalty shoot-out on both occasions.
The Taylor-Wessing Portrait exhibition runs from 12th November until 21st February at the National Portrait Gallery. Entry costs £3.
During filming, we were privileged to enjoy a fascinating interview with Burma's pre-eminent Historian Thant Myint-U, author of River of Lost Footsteps.
Exactly 130 years ago, Britain occupied Burma and toppled it's thousand year old monarchy, sending the country on a journey into confusion and tyranny from which it's only beginning to emerge. In November 2015, Burma will stage it's first free elections in more than half a century. While many in Britain are looking on in trepidation as Burma takes it's first tentative steps towards the possibility of a democratic new era, only by examining the specifics of Burma's complex history is it possible to make sense of the events that are unfolding today.
We also interviewed influential Burmese Artist Htein Lin. (I previously met up with Htein outside the Tate Modern and in Yangon around a year ago. Htein is a former political prisoner who is currently engaged in making a large scale artwork entitled A Show of Hands. Htein's artwork involves plaster casts of the arms of 1,000 Burmese political prisoners. Read more . . .
We enjoyed many adventures too numerous to mention, such as attending an unforgettable children's Gospel performance in a Yangon church and meeting up with author Rupert Arrowsmith in Yangon's most exclusive yet deserted restaurant. More updates soon . . .
Hieizansakamoto | Japan This Darshana Photo Art picture by Gerry McCulloch is currently showing at the Los Angeles Centre for Digital Art. The exhibition features a selection of work by 40 international artists curated by Joanna Szupinski-Myers of the California Museum of Photography. Exhibition dates are June 11th to July 3rd.
Fancy a quick adventure in a Tibetan corner of India without the dust ? Please be my guest and checkout this new Darshana Photo Art gallery of pictures from Bodh Gaya and Varanasi including HH 17th Karmapa, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and more . . .
Sample pictures . . .
In 2006, I launched the Goldsmiths MA in Filmmaking. The programme is currently evolving into the new Goldsmiths Screen School. The purpose of my visit to India is to combine lectures on Visual Storytelling with stimulating awareness of the Screen School and meeting prospective applicants.
On my first evening in Mumbai, its great to catch up with friend and ex-student Richie Taneja at the Taj Palace Coffee House in Colaba.
Next morning, its time to dive into a week of lectures and meeting agents and prospective students at University Media Departments and Recruitment Fares around India. I especially enjoy giving talks at Indira School of Communication and FAD International Academy in Pune, a short flight from Mumbai.
On Wednesday morning, I need to catch an early morning flight from Pune to Kolkata. However, on checking out of my hotel, I realise that I’ve left my wallet at a Fabindia store the previous evening (divine retribution).
The delay caused by my lack of necessary plastic at hotel check-out and flight check-in means that by the time I make it through to the departure lounge my name is being paged all around the airport. It turns out that the plane is already fully boarded and is waiting for a final passenger - guess who ?
This leads to a mad dash across the tarmac to my waiting plane, dodging luggage trolleys and the like (so wish I had a picture of this). I’m sorry to admit that I was that late person that everyone stares at for holding up the flight.
The highlight of my trip to Kolkata is a visit to the Satyijat Ray Film School - the most prestigious film school in India. My visit is facilitated by the very wonderful Debashish Ghoshal, Head of Sound Design.
It is my great pleasure to meet Neeraj Sahay, Professor of Cinematography at SRFTI and to spend time with his students on a moonlit lighting setup. They are filming with an Arriflex 435 35mm film camera - very nice too !
My colleague Edd, from Goldsmiths International Office and myself hold exploratory meetings with Director of SRFTI, Professor Sanjaya Pattanayak and the Dean of SRFTI, Professor Nilotpal Majumdar about initiating a collaborative relationship between Satjiyat Ray Film School and the new Goldsmiths Screen School.
In addition, it is encouraging for myself personally to have the opportunity to discuss my Isolates AVPhD project with Satyajit Ray staff. Nalanda is a relatively short distance away, and Debashish is hoping to put me in touch with some Bengali scholars of Pala Dynasty Art.
At the end of the week I find time to pursue my research at the Indian Museum in Kolkata. However much of the permanent collection of Buddhist Art is currently in an exhibition in Tokyo until May. (Luckily, I have a possibility of catching this exhibition at the end of March.)
When checking out the publications unit, I chance upon one of my favourite passages from Chandogya Upanishad (slightly modified):
In the city of Darshana
There is a secret dwelling
Called the Lotus of the Heart
Inside that dwelling
There is a space
And inside that space
Lies the fulfilment of all your desire . . .
This is my first visit to Kolkata and I love the colour and infectious energy of the city. Just driving around the streets in a yellow Ambassador taxi or jumping on a tram is an exuberant experience.
For now though its time to head back to London for the last few weeks of term at Goldsmiths, although I hope to return to Kolkata before long.
Special thank you to Ritwika.
Meanwhile my hotel in Pune have retrieved my wallet from Fabindia. But I’m hundreds of miles away on the other side of India and about to fly back to London. Hmmm . . .
During this visit I’m staying in the Kampong Glam district of Singapore opposite Arab Street, near Sultan Mosque- a vibrant neighbourhood replete with Middle Eastern style al fresco restaurants and music bars.
The selfie phenomenon appears to be getting a little out of hand in Singapore.
As usual, Paul and I have a lively discussion, during which I update him about the progress of my Isolates AVPhD and Identity collaboration with Gisli Snaer, Head of the Puttnam School of Film at Lasalle College of the Arts.
I am especially looking forward to utilising an EyeDirect Interrotron device to create slow motion moving-image portraits that involve engaging the eye contact of participants.
On to the Puttnam School of Film at Lasalle College of the Arts where I’m running film module design sessions for staff . . .
. . . and teaching Visual Storytelling to undergraduate film students.
As well as teaching sessions and the staff collaboration with Gisli, I’m facilitating a student collaboration between both sets of students on this trip.
The project involves Goldsmiths and Lasalle students collaborating on grading the locked picture cuts of this year’s Goldsmiths graduation films that will be screened at BAFTA in January. My Goldsmiths student cinematographers are excited to be visiting Singapore over the next few weeks. Watch this space for updates . . .
After a hard working week, it was time for my other friend Paul and I to enjoy Saturday night out on the town. We started the evening at a lovely Japanese restaurant in Kandahar Street and moved on to see a great live band at the Blue Jazz cafe in Bali Street . . .
. . . not to mention belly dancing in the streets of Kampong Glam.
Luckily I woke up on Sunday morning just in time to catch my flight to Mumbai. As I depart for India, my first two student cinematographers - Mary from Ireland and Chris from Ecuador - arrive in Singapore to begin their collaboration at Lasalle . . .
Unfortunately I’m not able to attend as I’m out of the UK for the duration of the exhibition on a working visit to Singapore and India. But hope you can go . . .
The exhibition runs until Sunday 23rd November and all artworks are for sale. Admission is free.
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