Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ongoing Exhibition: Simple/Simplicity by Paul Kohl, Part I

Photographic Exhibition:

15 April – 7 May 2008

Opening Reception:

Friday 18 April 2008, 7:30pm

Kay Ngee Tan Architects- Gallery

16-17 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089600

Gallery Hours: Tues – Fri 11am-7pm, Saturday 11-6pm, by appointment.

Kay Ngee Tan Architects Gallery is pleased to present Simple/Simplicity - a twin solo-exhibition of Colour/Black&White photographic works by Paul Kohl.

Simplicity showcases a series of black and white photographic prints made by Paul Kohl during his Artist-in-Residence program with the Awagami Paper Factory, Japan in 2006- becoming one of a few pioneering photographers to produce images on handmade Japanese papers (washi).

Contrasting himself as a photographer in America, a nation where individualism and freedom is celebrated, against Japan- a country with a society full of codes in behaviors, Paul Kohl’s works reflect his attempts to make sense of an unfamiliar country, a strange culture. Journeying through the streets of Japan, he engages himself to objects and spaces, devoting this process solely with his camera.

Paul draws influences from jazz music especially that of John Coltraine, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus into his works. His interests in Zen, the martial arts and Meditation propel the heavy Buddhist symbolism in his images. Paul’s prints remind us of the course-grained prints favored by William Klein and Daido Moriyama.

A rubber tire triumphal half-emergence from the ground, a withering decayed poster of a man against a polished concrete metal surface and a sleeping faded Buddha flattened, contrasting itself up against the man-made metal structure. Paul symbolically closes up on his subjects, leaving his images fully non-existent of suggestions to time and space. He denies imagination, always embracing the heightened reality the camera is able to capture.

Through these images, he conveys his desires to record the simplicity through Black and White Photography, in his opinions, essentially strips his subjects naked with its monochromes where color photography solely fixes itself to surface of things.

Paul Kohl graduated from The San Francisco Institute in Photography with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1973. He further pursued his Master Degree in Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana in 1985. He has held numerous solo and group exhibitions both in Japan and the States from 1974 - 2009, with Simple/Simplicity being his first solo-exhibition in Singapore.

His works were collected internationally by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Fogg Museum at Harvard University and the Awagami Paper Museum, among others. No stranger to grants and awards, he received the National Endowment for the Arts Artist’s Photography Fellowship in 1976 and became the only writer in English awarded with the Takeshi Kaikoi Award 1997. He is currently a guest lecturer in NTU.

For further information, please contact Ee Peng at or (65)64230198.

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