Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hanoi về đêm by Shannon Castleman

19 March – 12 April 2008

We are pleased to present Hanoi về đêm - the first solo exhibition in Singapore by fine art photographer, Shannon Castleman.

Shannon's work explores the relationship of people, both individuals and wider communities, to the urban environments in which they live. Her approach to the photographic process focuses upon the use of traditional documentary techniques, offset by subtle, but insistent, direction of light and space. Her work is marked by the photographer's conscious engagement with the very experience she seeks to represent, from a world apparently observed, to a world which is at once created and recorded.

Hanoi về đêm is a product of Castleman's desire to bear witness to the profound transformation the city continues to undergo following the turbulence of Vietnam's twentieth-century history. The capital's spaces and its traditional social structures coexist, sometimes uneasily, with the signs of greater economic prosperity and an increasing consumer culture.

Part of a wider exploration of the fate of mobile businesses in Southeast Asia, these photographs explore the flip-side of Hanoi as a site of frenetic commercial activity and throw into relief the vestiges of its Colonial structures. The images reveal the process of the city's nightly hibernation as the people, vehicles, and goods which populate every inch of its streets during the business day begin recede in the late evening. Pavements are washed, left abandoned and unfamiliar; the city itself appears as a deserted stage on which urban debris testify to the day's earlier performances.

Shannon graduated with a BFA in Photography from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, in 1993. She spent eight years working as a freelance photographer, before returning to study at the San Francisco Art Institute, receiving her MFA in 2004. Her experience across a broad array of professional assignments, ranging from photojournalism to fashion, later informed her personal work in its fusion of documentary style and fictional staging.

Her images have been included in a number of exhibitions, both in her native United States and internationally. In 2003 she enjoyed a residency at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba, under the direction of Tony Labat. Soon after, Castleman undertook a position as an Assistant Professor of Photography, at Dar Al-Hekma College, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She continues to be involved in arts education here in Singapore, at the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, where she is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography.


Anonymous said...

Have followed Ms. Castleman's work. Cannot wait to see this exhibit.

Anonymous said...

This show will certainly leave an impression with it's viewers, the images are potent portraits of a wonderful city undergoing serious change.

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