QCP is taking books of sixteen Australian photo-media artists to PhotoBook Independent (1 – 3 May 2015). This series of focus interviews gives an insight into the selected artists.
How did you get into photography?
I started photography when I was in school studying graphic reproduction where photography was part of the subject.
How did you arrive at the decision to create a photo book, and how is working with a book different from working on an exhibition?
The decision of making of the book after my second trip covering the Japan earthquake/tsunami and Fukushima nuclear crisis where I saw this is an on going recovery and I wanted to record history so it will not be missed. Working on a book takes more time of editing and also able to put more images for the viewers to have an in depth pictorial information whereas an exhibition it all depends on the space capacity.
Tell us a bit about your book featured at PhotoBook Independent.
Finding Hope is a pictorial book of specially selected images capturing and immortalise ordinary lives with extraordinary experiences in the face of tragedy, loss and uncertainty. It is to share with the rest of the world how the Japanese people collectively bonded, reached out to each other and rose above their unsettling experiences.
The book represents a year of play, experimentation and shifting my practice from painting, in a traditional sense to a cross pollination between painting and photography. The book itself is about perception and interrupting the act of looking. Using found or appropriated imagery whether iconic or vernacular was a deliberate choice: I was thinking about varied perceptions of the same image. I was also interested in images as representative of a collective cultural knowledge and consciousness.
For for information about Mathias Heng, please visit his website.
Banner image: Finding Hope cover