I am thrilled to announce that I will be presenting my work in an artist talk for the Griffin Museum February Chat Chat! Details below:
It’s time to Photo Chat Chat!
Join us February 18 at 7pm Eastern in the Griffin Zoom Room for a great conversation with four very different stories. We are bringing together the talents of Elizabeth Libert, Xuan Hui Ng, George Nobechi and Andy Richter.
Our Photo Chat Chat is a monthly conversation bringing together four members of the Griffin community to share their work, ideas and creativity with a broader audience. We are thrilled to bring together these artists who have unique perspectives on creativity and the world they inhabit.
This event is FREE to Griffin Members. Not a Member? Get more information about our Membership levels.
Here is a look at the artists we are featuring this month.
Elizabeth Clark Libert is a fine art photographer based in the Boston area. They Will Be Them is a current project of hers that features her two young sons and questions their nature. The work made it to the Critical Mass top 200, and the image Bleeding Hearts was recently acquired for the Fidelity Investments collection.
Xuan-Hui began photography as a form of self-therapy. Nature provided her solace from her mother’s death. Its vastness gave her a sense of perspective while its beauty reignited a sense of wonder and adventure. Initially, the urge to photograph stemmed from an almost desperate desire to preserve those precious moments of nature and prolong the serenity they brought. Overtime, she began to enjoy simply being immersed in nature and marveling at its beauty and magic.
The project, “Metamorphosis”, chronicles her travels to photograph the landscape of Central Hokkaido (Japan) in the past 10 years. She first visited the region with her family when she was 7. Being there conjures up nostalgia for the purity and simplicity of childhood. Photographing it eternalizes the experience.
The past 10 years have been a period of transformation. Her desire to spend more time in Hokkaido led her to move to work in Japan, and eventually leave her finance job. She’s been rediscovering herself and recalibrating the pace and direction of her life. Being in Hokkaido has made it possible. She bears its imprint, artistically and temperamentally. “Metamorphosis” is a manifestation of these changes.
The Japan I Hadn’t Seen is an ongoing project that began in 2015 as I returned to my homeland of Japan for the first time since I made the decision to become a photographer. Although I had grown up in Tokyo until I was eleven, and again worked there for ten years after university, in many ways, I felt like I had not truly seen my country on a deeper level.
I recalled the stories that I read as a child by authors like Kenji Miyazawa, with whom my family had some connections when he was alive. Deep, mysterious, and at times, dark tales like Night on the Galacic Express and Matasaburo of the Wind, along with passages of ancient songs, poetry and history came to mind as I journeyed across the archipelago, camera in hand.
One such story was the story of Urashima Taro, an old fairy tale about a man who rescues a sea turtle, and is taken to a beautiful underwater palace where he is wined and dined for what he thinks is a few days. When he departs to return to his village, the princess of the palace gives him a gift box with an admonition to never open it, but of course, he cannot help himself, and when he opens it, he finds that 100 years had passed by above the sea. He turns into an old man, and everyone who was familiar to him is gone.
When I returned to live in Japan in 2017, many years after I had last lived there and having changed careers entirely, I felt in many ways like the protagonist in this tale. Everything had forever changed. More than ever, I had an appreciation for my home culture, yet I also felt distant, disconnected, and removed from it in many ways. Being from a mixed background in a very homogeneous country, I realized that I would never quite fit in. As I traveled up and down the country, mostly by train, I came to slowly embrace this feeling of isolation I experienced and accept that this would be an essential part of my sensibility.
Andy Richter is an award-winning visual artist and storyteller based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He immerses himself in his subject and its wider context, exploring such themes as family, fatherhood, self-transformation, consciousness and spirituality with the heightened awareness that the camera brings.
Andy’s photographs have been exhibited internationally and he has received recognition from American Photography, Photolucida, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and the International Photography Awards, among others. He is a multiple time recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. His monograph, Serpent in the Wilderness, based on his half decade long visual exploration of yoga, was published in 2018 by Kehrer Verlag. His clients include The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, GEO, Time, Smithsonian, Mother Jones, among others.