Sunday, January 12, 2014

Han Nguyen, "Tracing Shadows", Unique Photograms at Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, California

By Cathy Breslaw

Han Nguyen  ‘Tracing Shadows’
January 11 – March 1, 2014
Jospeh Bellows Gallery, La Jolla CA

The works by Han Nguyen are a delicate, sensitive, and quietly moving portrayal of organic and natural forms expressed through the use of unique photograms. Simple compositions achieved by exposing arranged natural objects to light leave their marks on photosensitive lightly toned papers. Through the use of plant and rock forms, Nguyen uses light to help us absorb and take notice of the beauty that surrounds us in the natural world.  His works refer back to the early calotypes of Fox Talbot and the plant forms recorded by Blossfeldt.  Photograms, often called ‘camera-less photography’, a process that lies somewhere between photography and printmaking, is a unique way of documenting natural objects.
Leaving only the ‘shadows’ of an object, Nguyen takes us on his journey to recognize his reverence for nature and the forms they create. His works, displayed in groupings and grids as well as large-scale prints, transcend their object-hood revealing a meditative and ephemeral quality to the images.
Tracing Shadows #44   unique photogram on gelatin silver paper

Tracing Shadows #130   unique photogram on gelatin silver paper  2013

Review by Cathy Breslaw

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