Mars on Earth – Ongoing

I spent much of the past year photographing and interviewing a new generation of space explorers in the United States, China, Japan and Europe. A diverse and engaged community of scientists, entrepreneurs, and creatives revealed itself. From doctors creating avatars to guide surgeries across vast distances, to agricultural entrepreneurs building greenhouse and hydroponic technologies for inhospitable soil, I became particularly interested in the earthly applications of the space bound innovations we learned about, especially in a time of climate change.

Earth is facing a myriad of challenges, and those focused on the cosmos are often thought to be devoid of concern for their home planet. Myintroduction to the space community has told a different story. Pragmatically, an entrepreneurial environment not completely subsidized by the government, requires that space innovations have a nearer term market on Earth, and everyone I met saw a direct application of their work for Earth from 3D printed habitats for rehoming those displaced after natural disasters to bioregenerativefarming technology for desertified terrain.

The Skateboarding village in rural India

Bringing skateboards to children in Madhya Pradesh gives them enthusiasm to go to school and gives girls a confidence in themselves. The children skid into the dusty courtyard at breakfast time, grabbing skateboards from a stack near a tethered brown cow. Boards jammed under arms, they sprint barefoot past a large well pump, the main water supply for many families here. They slap their wheels on to the still-clean concrete of Janwaar Castle – India’s newest skateboard park. Opened in January to replace a skateboard park built a few hundred metres away in 2015, the large structure is flanked by grain crops that lie on the edge of Janwaar, a village of roughly 150 households in rural Madhya Pradesh, one of India’s poorest states. Words by Jamie Fullerton. More on this link: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/mar/13/no-school-no-skating-the-indian-skate-park-bringing-children-together

Punk in Myanmar

Punk is not dead, at least not in Myanmar. There was lots said and done on this topic in previous years but as a punk nostalgic I just wanted to go for a special New Years concert. The concert happened under a highway in the suburbs of Yangon and the only source of the electricity was an electric generator in the corner. After a bottle of the local whiskey shared with the crowd I could not resist shooting. Photos won the best series award in the category of culture in Slovenia Press Photo award in 2017.

Timekeepers – China

What really keeps time – clocks or memories? »Timekeeper« is a series of 3D photographs by Matjaž Tančič, inspired by the set up of Hui-style living rooms in the old village houses of Yixian. As one enters these dwellings, the eye is again and again greeted by the same sight: a small altar comprised of a clock, two vases and a mirror. Why were these altars created? What do they signify? In Chinese, the Zhong Sheng Ping Jing (clock, vases, mirror) has the same pronounciation as lifelong tranquility. But what at first glance gives the impression of sacred artifacts and hints at an exciting tradition, is later revealed to be only objects to the majority of today’s villagers. Just a clock, two vases and a mirror. The young have all but forgotten the original purpose of their house altars, just as old traditions and ancestral values slowly but surely fade away. The »timekeepers« now tell a new story – a story of today. The old clock may be replaced or even lost, but then perhaps another object will take its place, transforming the altar into a reflection of the household. Photo albums, medicines, wrist watches, toys or food are now all part of the set up and tell the story of the altar’s current owners – farmers, tea growers, retired teachers and artists. Individuals from several different villages are featured in the photos with an altar of clock, two vases and a mirror. The 3D technique lets the spectator get closer and experience the story more intimately. As the altars changed, so have the villages. They are way past their prime, the young people desiring the hustle and bustle of the city. Trade has also found new home in large urban areas, turning the once wealthy village merchants into a mere memory. What remains are their luxurious houses that have now seen centuries, and in them – small altars that keep old memories and tell new stories. Timekeepers.

Temple street KTV – Hong Kong

First time I wondered in this karaoke bar by accident. I followed a long haired gentleman with a colorful shirt and slick trousers. Was wondering where is he going dressed that well. Night that followed was full of interesting people coming in and out and many many toast, playing dice and tiping the singers. I visit this place on Temple Street in Hong Kong every time I am in town.

Heroes – Samos Refuges

Gods and Men Told throughout time are the stories of ordinary men and women who transcend their mortality to become myths, icons, legends – gods who walk the earth. But what is it that elevates one individual above the rest? How does a human of flesh and blood transform into an idea? Slovenian photographer MatjažTančič (b. 1982) probes into the question, asking why some lives are deemed worthier than others, by looking to one of the most vulnerable populations of contemporary times: refugees. He travelled to the Greek island of Samos, one of the main European gateways for Syrian, Middle Eastern and African refugees and migrants, as well as a land marked by a long history of art and culture. “The connection to mythological heroes followed naturally from the fact that the island’s migrants and refugees took the very same sea routes and dangerous itineraries as the heroes of ancient mythology”, Tančič explains. “But the analogy does not stop there: like their mythological precursors, they had enough courage and strength to brave a long journey through uncertain seas in order to find a better future.” Tančič started by collecting stories and documentary photos of refugees, migrants and humanitarian workers, interweaving his own images with archival materials from a Greek textbook, and printing his photographs onto life jackets and pieces of rubber boat that he found on the island’s remote beaches. The resulting series provides a layered reading of a concrete modern crisis told with the symbolic language of a timeless tale. More about the project on: www.samosheroes.com

Death on the stage – China

In Hengdian, Zhejiang province, China lies the worlds biggest film studio. It is also know as Chinawood. At the studios there are more than 40.000 registered actors and extras from all around China but also abroad. This is the place where 70% of all Chinese movies are filmed. They are mostly periodical dramas and films about Sino – Japanese war ! According to some estimates there are about 900.000.000 deaths captured on film in a single year. I have visited a gym where stuntman train and actor practice every evening and ask some of them to show me their interpretation of death on the big screen. Here are some of them!

Cholliwood – Movie industry in China

In Hengdian, Zhejiang province, China lays the worlds biggest film studio. It is also know as Chollywood. At the studios there are more than 40.000 registered actors and extras from all around China but also abroad. This is the place where 70% of all Chinese movies are filmed. They are specialized in periodical dramas and films about Sino – Japanese war.

3DPRK – North Korea

Invited to document North Korea in 3D by Koryo Studio, Slovenian photographer Matjaž Tančič wanted to show something of the people who live there, stripped of rhetoric. Choosing to take portraits of people in North Korea invites controversy, criticism and significant challenges. In the eyes of the Western world, North Korea is one of the few countries where photographic voyeurism is celebrated. Working within the rules of the North Korean regime invites accusation of being naïve or, worse, a ‘useful idiot’ of taking on the work of a complex and powerful propaganda machine. North Korea is one of the most restrictive societies on Earth; all visitors to the country must be invited, and all are required to travel with guides representing the organization that invited them. There have been multiple instances in the past of ‘tourists’ repackaging and selling their images to the global press. In North Korea there is an inherent distrust of Western photographers. Capturing a ‘rare glimpse’ of a North Korean person, photographed at speed from a moving bus, or through a doorway, taps into our colonial desire to be the ‘first’ to see something, and in doing so successfully captures the interest of a Western audience. The ‘rare glimpse’ has become so oxymoronically common, we can now call it a trope of North Korean photography. But forgotten, or dismissed, in this never-ending quest for unseen images in our over-stimulated modern world, are the subjects of these ‘rare glimpses’: the North Korean people whose images have been captured. This specific nature of the 3D technique he used required introduction and demonstration and encouraged interest and exchange between photographer and subject. This exchange, facilitated by our guides, translators and interested onlookers allowed us to bypass, somewhat, the more commonly experienced relationship between western photographers in North Korea and those that they photograph, typified by a lack of direct interaction and explanation of intent and purpose. Among the more than 100 portraits we captured, there is a boxing champion learning to ice skate, a photographer in forest, a worker in and iconic steel complex and an international worker with the Red Cross. These are the people we met in North Korea, and who we present in 3D.