Book Review & Plans
I managed to meet Frank Lau, who is a Visualizer Group Head at zooallies.com, with over 26 years in the creative advertising industry. I decided to ask Frank if he could review my work, as this was someone who I had not met before and I was interested to hear his views with his experience in the advertising industry, on my final project book latest draft copy.
Frank took a long time viewing all of my pictures in the book, and he seemed to be entirely captivated, and after a while, he then talked about what he thought. He said my work was of high quality and he picked out many images with an approving nod of his head, he picked out many he liked such as one of my images I produced this year for the book of the cutthroat razor being held. Frank compared my work with Wing Shya (Shya, 2018) a renowned Hong Kong Photographer whose work I viewed my self at the Art Central Exhibition in Wan Chai in 2018; https://www.paulpeachphotography.com/art-central-visit-29-03-2018/ Frank said my photographs was as good as if not better in his view and of a high quality. He also mentioned my work with quad tone images was something he had never seen before. And he agreed there were some similarities to those images to that of Frank Miller the famous graphic novel artist, whose work I also admire. On reflection, I was quite taken back by the comparison, given I have somewhat limited resources in terms of production costs.
I asked if he thought people would buy a book like this in Hong Kong, moreover where would it sit in the world of photography. Frank said probably at an exhibition, and a book review would be the best place to expand on my work. I agreed with this idea as I am planning to hold an Exhibition of my work here in Hong Kong along with a preview of my book, which is still an ongoing project which I will probably continue for a while. This is one of the reasons I will not be publishing my book until sometime after I complete my MA in photography.
The public outcome for my project is something I have thought about a lot of late and after holding two work in progress exhibitions in 2017 situated in a barbershop and a men’s grooming shop, I learnt a lot about different types of picture framing and the different kinds of wall mounts. I also understood better the printing process and scale of the work and how its reviewed. The positioning of frames and prints and the selection was also important, and I feel I got this right and the work was well received according to my questionnaire I left on site. Of course, there are many different types of installations, such as lights box frames and projected images and different wall hanging techniques, but I feel after endless visits to exhibitions most of it has been done before. And in the end if the work is not good then no matter how well you install your work, in the end, you still need to improve your work as galleries are only really a starting point, not the endpoint.
So now having experienced an installation exhibition, already I felt that a new direction would be better to sustain my own interest in photography and also others in my work. So I have decided not to hold any public exhibition until after my study as I feel this should be done properly and allow my work to be developed further to see where I really want it to go. Even though my work is publishable now as a book I wish to develop a platform or creative work that’s sustainable. I will spend time researching books and publishers here in Asia and find a suitable exhibition to preview my book and take it from there. I also may consider applying for a residency (South London Gallery, 2018)
I will also look at trying to exhibit in local Gallery here in Hong Kong at a later time (Time Out Hong Kong, 2018), so I think to rush into the mass a online marketing is not a good strategy.
My Ma Photography project now renamed to “Hong Kong Barbers: Grooming Evolution, is at its final stages ready for being assessed by my university. I will be printing a dummy book hopefully very soon, but due to the size and number of pages, it’s going to take some time to sort out beyond the scope of my MA assignment. Although the book its self is not required for the assessment, I will initially show my work online to my university to view through my blog in a professional manner which is more than good enough for online viewing at a later time should I need to show a sample or something. One of the decisions of making a book or publishing a book is that you have to have a reason to do so (British Journal of Photography, 2018), well I have that reason, which is to archive or document work and allow people to view photographs that they enjoy and my work in this project is about bringing hope to Hong Kong young people and embrace opportunities in the barbering industry, my book shows people that its possible to have sustainable living in an expensive city. This may only give a little hope, but I feel this industry is still growing here in Hong Kong-based on my own research from this book.
British Journal of Photography, B. (2018). The first step to making a successful photo book isn’t what you think it is. [online] British Journal of Photography. Available at: http://www.bjp-online.com/2017/05/how-to-publish-a-successful-photobook/ [Accessed 8 May 2018].
South London Gallery, S. (2018). South London Gallery Post-Graduate Residency 2018/2019 – South London Gallery. [online] South London Gallery. Available at: https://www.southlondongallery.org/projects/south-london-gallery-post-graduate-residency-2018-2019/ [Accessed 4 Jul. 2018].
Time Out Hong Kong, T. (2018). The best art galleries in Hong Kong for photography. [online] Time Out Hong Kong. Available at: https://www.timeout.com/hong-kong/art/the-best-art-galleries-in-hong-kong-for-photography [Accessed 7 Jul. 2018].
Shya, W. (2018). Wing Shya ‘Sweet Sorrow’ @ Art Central. [online] Blue Lotus Gallery. Available at: https://www.bluelotus-gallery.com/new-events/wing-shya-sweet-sorrow-xdllm [Accessed 31 Mar. 2018].