He hasn’t really caught on here yet. But abstract photography is growing in popularity as people grasp its complexities and see its potential.
Today, one of Myanmar’s most famous female artists is leading the way with her abstract photographs.
The exhibition, by Ma Ei, is currently on display at Gallery 65 Yaw Min Gyi Street, Dagon County, Yangon.
She had planned to mount the show last October, but first decided to go ahead with the powerful performance she titled “Period”.
“After ‘Period’ I had to plan my project abroad, which I have been doing for four months,” she said.
Her first exhibition introduced the public to her performative photography, although it did offer a small exhibition of her abstract photography in early 2015. “This is part of the ‘My Yangon My Home’ project and contains 13 abstracts.
This time, she shows 39 photos, all of them favorites. “I started taking abstract photos in 2010 and have taken a lot since. These are a selection of the best, ”she said.
After six years of experience, she overcame her initial problem of knowing what to photograph.
She is used to handling the abstract. “I also painted a lot of abstract art, so I’m used to expressing my ideas through this medium. Doing this through photography requires a different approach, ”she said.
“There are a lot of subjects in my photos. I am also a painter, so I love the color. Some of my works are multi-colored, but some pieces only focus on one color.
She takes all of her abstract photos with a micro lens, a skill she learned in class. “Some photographers take pictures of insects, pollen and other living things on a small scale. I capture other materials, so the flavor is different.
She takes all the photos at home. “When the sunlight comes through my front window, I can’t wait to take pictures. I have already prepared by putting my materials on the table. All they want is sunlight, ”she said.
Its materials include straw, plastic bags, jelly balls used in plants, milk, sugar, edible moss, gasoline and more. Sometimes she photographs the reflections on a CD.
“Sometimes the lens can’t see what my eye sees. I am only satisfied if the viewer can see exactly what I am seeing. This is the case with all the photos I chose for this exhibition, ”she said.
“The purpose of this exhibition is first of all to show the public how fascinating photography can be. A lot of people don’t know. I also want young people to understand and learn to do better than us and to create great abstract photos. I am happy to share my experience of abstract photography with others, ”she said. “I also want to show how using a single color or a single circle or line can be art.”
Some of the works on display look like paintings. Others make the viewer wonder how they were made. Some are utterly mysterious, others very beautiful, others bursting with color.
The exhibition runs until March 9 and the works are on sale.